Bush Caves On Iraq Benchmarks

Democrats renew insistence on stick to accompany carrot
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2007 4:22 PM CDT
Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace, right, looks on as President Bush, left, speaks to reporters about Iraq, Thursday, May 10, 2007 at the Pentagon. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – In an abrupt about-face, President Bush said today he will negotiate with Congress about including benchmarks for the Iraqi government in war-spending legislation. With discontent mounting on both sides of the aisle, he emerged from a Pentagon briefing on Iraq and Afghanistan and said, "It makes sense to have benchmarks as part of our discussion."

Chief of staff Josh Bolten is to take the lead on finding common ground, and Bush said Bolten "will continue to have dialogue with both Republicans and Democrats." But the road to common ground runs through Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who insists that any timetable include "accountability for failing to meet those benchmarks."