Senate Democrats

President Bush vs. The Facts

President Bush’s press conference simply reiterated how out of touch with the facts he has become. His comments on Iran, Iraq and Congress show that there is indeed a difference between the facts, and the facts as he sees them.

THE FACTS AS PRESIDENT BUSH SEES THEM

THE FACTS AS EVERYONE ELSE SEES THEM

President Bush Said He Released NIE to Share the Facts “As We See Them” on Iran. “One of the reasons why this is out in the public arena is because I wanted, and our Administration believes that, one, it was important for people to know the facts, as we see them.” [President Bush News Conference, 12/4/07]

IAEA Director General Mohamed El Baradei Reiterated Last Month That After 4 Years of Review, There Was no Definitive Proof of Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program. “If conclusive proof [of Iran’s nuclear weapons program] exists, however, Bush hasn’t revealed it. Nor have four years of IAEA inspections. ‘I have not received any information that there is a concrete active nuclear-weapons program going on right now,’ IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei asserted in an interview Oct. 31 with CNN.” [McClatchy, 11/4/07]

President Bush Said He Was Made Aware of NIE Finding Last Week. With NSA Stephen Hadley in the room, President Bush said, “David, I want to contradict you. I was made aware of the NIE last week.” [President Bush News Conference, 12/4/07]

Yesterday, NSA Hadley Said President Bush Was Briefed on New Iran Intelligence in Last Few Months. Asked during a press briefing when President Bush learned from the intelligence community that Iran had discontinued its nuclear weapons program in 2003, he answered, “There’s two questions: one, when did they first get the information? — you ought to ask that to them — two, when was the President notified that there was new information available? We’ll try and get you a precise answer. As I say, it was, in my recollection, is in the last few months. Whether that is October — August, September, we’ll try and get you an answer to that.” [Press Briefing with NSA Stephen Hadley, 12/3/07]

President Bush Said DNI McConnell Told Him There Was New Intelligence About Iran, But Did Not Tell Him What it Was. “In August I think it was John — Mike McConnell came in and said we have some new information. He didn’t tell me what the information was.” [President Bush News Conference, 12/4/07]

DNI Is Principal Advisor to the President on Intelligence Matters. “The DNI also acts as the principal advisor to the President; the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council for intelligence matters related to the national security; and oversees and directs the implementation of the National Intelligence Program.” [Office of DNI, Who We Are]

President Bush Scolded Congress for Not Passing War Funding. “We’ve got people risking their lives for the United States of America. And this Congress has yet to fund them and it needs to. And it needs to fund them without telling our military how to conduct this war.” [President Bush News Conference, 12/4/07]

Democrats Tried to Give DOD $50 Billion for War Funding, While Requiring Accountability and a Change of Course in Iraq. The majority of Senators, including 48 Democrats, four Republicans and one independent voted to proceed to a bill that would appropriate $50 billion in emergency supplemental funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for fiscal 2008. The bill would require troops to begin withdrawing from Iraq within 30 days of enactment, with a goal of withdrawing most troops by Dec. 15, 2008. [Senate Vote #411, HR 4156, 11/16/07; CQ Floor Votes]

But Bush Republicans Carried Water for the President and Blocked Bill to Fund Troops and Change Course in Iraq. “Senate Republicans on Friday blocked a $50 billion bill by Democrats that would have paid for several months of combat but also would have ordered troop withdrawals from Iraq to begin within 30 days. The measure, narrowly passed this week by the House, also would have set a goal of ending combat in December 2008. The 53-45 vote was seven votes short of the 60 needed to advance.” [Associated Press, 11/17/07]

President Bush Said Differences Between House and Senate Democrats Was Cause for Congress Not Getting Things Done. “Here’s — Congress, the Democrats in Congress and the House and Senate need to work out the differences before they come to the White House. You can imagine what it’s like to try to deal on an important piece of legislation and the Democrats in the House have one opinion, and the Democrats in the Senate have another opinion… And in order for us to be able to reach accord, they got to come with one voice, one position.” [President Bush News Conference, 12/4/07]

Senate Republicans Have Already Forced 56 Cloture Votes – Fast Approaching the Record of 61 During an Entire Two-Year Term. So far during the 110th Congress, Senate Republicans have forced 56 cloture votes. The record for an entire 2-year term is 61 cloture votes. [www.cq.com; Ornstein Column, AEI, 7/18/07]

President Bush Has Vetoed Key Legislation. President Bush has veto bills to expand stem cell research, to change the mission in Iraq and raise the minimum wage, to insure 4 million more children, to authorize crucial water projects and to pay for key labor, health and education programs. [NBC News, 5/1/07; Washington Post, 6/21/07; New York Times, 10/3/07; New York Times, 11/14/07; New York Times, 11/8/07]

President Bush Blamed Congress for Not Negotiating on Children’s Health Insurance Bill. “They knew I was going to veto the Children’s Health bill. They knew that was going to happen. They knew the veto would be sustained but they ate up valuable time and passed the bill any way and so we sit here and the White House trying to figure out why? Why would you waste time. Why wouldn’t you sit down and try to seriously negotiate an agreement on a bill that they knew was going to get vetoed and sustained.” [President Bush News Conference, 12/4/07]

President Bush Refused to Meet With Congressional Leaders Himself to Find Compromise on Children’s Health Insurance Bill. During his weekly pen and pad, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said,“So I would hope the President, if in fact a veto is not overwritten in the House, and we should know that within the next…a little bit, I would hope that the President will sit down and engage us.  Now the Speaker and I asked him yesterday to meet with us.  You know, he’s gone around saying ‘why don’t they lee-way, why don’t they talk, why don’t they negotiate, why don’t they compromise with us.’  He said ‘no, I’m not moving, meet with my staff.’” [Senator Reid Pen and Pad, 10/18/07]  

18 Republicans in the Senate and 44 in the House Supported Children’s Health Insurance Bill. In the Senate, the motion to concur with the House version of the Children’s Health Insurance legislation passed the Senate 67-29, with 18 Republicans supporting the bill. In the House, 44 Republicans voted to override the President’s veto. [Senate Vote #353, HR 976, 9/27/07; House Vote #982, HR 976, 10/18/07]

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