FROM Ron Hutcheson
Bush's Warm Words for Blair at Farewell Summit Britain 's outgoing Prime Minister Tony Blair was at the White House today for a public session of mutual appreciation with President Bush. At their joint news conference , the President had surprisingly kind words for the Democratic leaders of Congress and said his Chief of Staff Josh Bolten is making progress on a spending bill for Iraq. Ron Hutcheson is White House correspondent for the McClatchy News Service .
The Escalating Conflict between the White House and Congress Congress left Washington for its spring recess without reconciling House and Senate differences over money for troops in Iraq. President Bush today demanded that they get on with it, so he can make good on his veto threat and get the kind of support he wants for troops in the field. What would a prolonged disagreement mean for the troops? We hear about the politics—and the realities--of funding the war in Iraq from from.
Is There Constitutional Confrontation in the Works? Early this week, 3000 pages of internal Justice Department e-mails and other documents were turned over to Congress in the matter of the firing of eight US Attorneys. Three of the President Bush's closest advisors are deeply involved: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales , former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and political advisor Karl Rove. Today, a House subcommittee took the first step toward subpoenas for Rove and other top White House aides. The President says they can testify privately without any transcript being made, but Congress wants sworn public testimony--on the record. Insisting that there was no wrong-doing, Bush emphasized that he'd go to court to prevent his aides from testifying under oath. Whether or not the issue ends up in court, it will be judged in the court of public opinion. Has the Department of Justice lived up to its name or become a political arm of the White House ? We update today’s action with journalists and legal experts.
White House Marks the Fourth Anniversary of the Iraq War Over the weekend, thousands of demonstrators turned out in American cities to protest the war in Iraq. Today President Bush acknowledged this fourth anniversary with a five-minute statement at the White House. Affirming that the war can be won, he called on Congress for the "the funds and the flexibility that our troops need to accomplish their mission" without using that funding "as leverage to get special interest spending for their districts." Ron Hutcheson covers the White House for McClatchy News Service .
President Bush Lays Out Plans for Lame Duck Session President Bush lunched at the White House today with Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi . They pledged mutual cooperation when the Democrats take over. Earlier, with his cabinet standing behind him, the President outlined what he wants from the old, Republican Congress when it convenes its lame duck session next week.
President Bush Starts His Latest Iraq Offensive President Bush today made the first of what he called "a series of speeches" to rally Americans behind the war in Iraq. He said opponents may be "sincere" and "patriotic," but that they were wrong and that a pullout now would be a boon to terrorists.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.