Pelosi: No 'blank cheque' for Bush

Nancy Pelosi, the US House of Representatives speaker, has vowed aggressive scrutiny of the president's expected plan to send more US troops to Iraq, but did not say that congress would block funding for the initiative.

Pelosi: No 'blank cheque' for Bush

The California Democrat, newly installed in her leadership role after Democrats won control of congress, said George Bush would not have a "blank cheque" to pursue new policies in Iraq that have already drawn fire from Democrat leaders.

"If the president wants to add to this mission, he is going to have to justify it," she said. "And this is new for him because up until now the Republican congress has given him a blank cheque with no oversight, no standards, no conditions."


Bush, who is reshuffling his Iraq team, is expected to outline a shift in course in the unpopular war this week with what could be a short-term increase of up to 20,000 US troops to try to restore stability to Baghdad.


Phased withdrawal


Pelosi and Harry Reid, the Democrat senate majority leader from Nevada, urged Bush in a letter last week to reject a troop increase and begin a phased withdrawal from Iraq.


On Sunday, Mowaffaq al-Rubaie, the Iraq national security adviser, said that the Iraqi government would accept higher US troop levels. "We will support them," he said.


Joseph Biden, the Delaware Democrat senator who chairs the senate foreign relations committee, said he has drafted a senate "resolution of disapproval" to try to dissuade Bush from seeking higher troop levels.


But Biden also conceded that congress can do little to prevent Bush from acting as he sees fit.


"It's a sense of the senate to try to convince the president that there are significant numbers in the United States senate who think this proposal is a mistake and hopefully force him to reconsider," he said. 


"This is a prescription for another tragedy. There is now a civil war. You need a political solution."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16