CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Bush, Congressional Leaders Meet
Aired September 26, 2002 - 12:21 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Joining us now, our congressional correspondent Kate Snow, from Capitol Hill.
The president earlier today, over at the White House, Kate, was clearly more conciliatory in speaking about Republicans and Democrats desire to work for strong national security.
KATE SNOW, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf, and Democrats echoing that this morning as well, saying the time now is to take a breath and for everyone to calm down a little bit, but Democrats clearly wanted to put the White House on notice, that they think that politics should be taken out of this whole Iraq debate. House Democratic leader Dick Gephardt said this morning that he had member after member coming into his office this morning they were outraged that the Republicans were using this as a Republican issue, and that's why they finally chose to speak out on that, and the Democrats saying they do want to work with the White House, that those negotiations over a resolution continue here.
Senator Daschle is scheduled to meet later on this afternoon with the Senate Democrats to bring them the latest, what he called working documents, not necessarily a draft, but language that they are considering now for that resolution, authorizing the president to use force against Iraq.
Wolf, both Democratic leaders facing a good deal, though, of pressure from some of the more liberal members of their parties. Over on the Senate side this morning, Senator Carl Levin, the Armed Services chairman, was meeting with other colleagues, other members, talking about whether they should do a separate resolution, one of their own, with Democratic language. In the meantime, in the House, Wolf, two Democratic members there are circulating a letter, two who are more anti-war, are circulating a letter, asking for the vote to be postponed until after the November elections -- Wolf.
BLITZER: That's unlikely, based on everything we're hearing, though, Kate, what are the prospects that within the next few days, there will be a strongly worded resolution, or resolution the president wants passed, probably overwhelmingly in the House and the Senate?
SNOW: That is certainly what the White House wants. I talked to a senior White House official last night, who's been involved in these negotiations up here on the Hill, who said we were hoping to have language today by today, by Thursday, if not, maybe by tomorrow, that they can all sort of agree on and then move it through the process next week, maybe have a vote by the end of next week or the week after.
But, Wolf, it's still very much in the air whether they will meet that ambitious timetable. But I do think you're correct in saying they will do it before they leave for the November elections -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Kate Snow on Capitol Hill, thank you very much.
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