U.S. President George Bush and leaders of the opposition Democratic
Party say they will work together. Their comments came after the latest
election results showed Democrats have won control of Congress in this
President Bush says voters expect politicians to
rise above their partisan
differences. So he invited House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi
to lunch at the White House.
"The elections are now behind us," said President Bush. "And the
Congresswoman's party won. But the challenges still remain, and therefore
we are going to work together to address those challenges in a
constructive way. We will not agree on every issue, but we do agree that
we love America equally, that we are concerned about the future of this
country, and that we will do our very best to address big problems."
The president said he had a constructive and very friendly meeting with
Pelosi, who is expected to become the first woman chosen by her party to
serve as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Pelosi said their talks were productive and signaled the start of a
partnership to solve the nation's problems.
"I look forward to working in a confidence-building way with the
president, recognizing that we have our differences, and we will debate
them, and that is what our founders intended," she said. "But we will do
so in a way that gets results for the American people."
Pelosi says she understands the responsibilities of serving as Speaker
of all the House, not just its Democratic members. Having made history,
she says it is now time to make progress.
Before Democrats take charge of the House in January, President Bush
says, there is much work to be done in the existing Congress, including
action on spending bills, terrorist surveillance, and alternative energy.
He is also calling on lawmakers to complete work on the Vietnam Free
Trade Agreement and a deal sharing civilian nuclear technology with India.
But the biggest challenge remains the fight against terrorism and what
the president says is the central front in that fight: Iraq.
"Our country now has more than 149,000 men and women serving bravely in
that country," he said. "Whatever party we come from, we all have a
responsibility to make sure that these troops have the resources and
support they need to prevail. I am open to any idea or suggestion that
will help us achieve our goals of defeating the terrorists and ensuring
that Iraq's democratic government succeeds."
Iraq was a central issue in this election. Public opinion polls say a
majority of Americans now believe the president's use of U.S. troops to
topple Saddam Hussein was a mistake.