The senators vs. the president

As Levin and Warner agree on anti-escalation resolution, Bush admonishes the Senate to support the troops.

Published February 1, 2007 12:49PM (EST)

More on the deal Sens. Carl Levin and John Warner have struck on a resolution opposing George W. Bush's escalation of the war in Iraq: The Los Angeles Times reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid expects "near" unanimous approval from Democrats -- and that Warner apparently hopes to pick up support from more Republicans with new clauses that oppose the cutting off of funds for the war and call on the government of Nouri al-Maliki to commit itself in writing to benchmarks for progress.

Appearing on Fox News Wednesday, the president reiterated his opposition to any anti-escalation resolution, saying: "My admonition to those who are speaking out is let us back the troops and let us hope for the success" of their mission.

And in an interview with the Wall Street Journal's editorial board, Bush seemed to lay down a dare for members of the Senate: Defund the war or shut up about it. Asked whether he thought Congress has the power to cut off funding for the war, Bush said: "Oh yeah. They can say 'We won't fund.' That is a constitutional authority of Congress."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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Carl Levin D-mich. Iraq War