Reid gives a speech on Iraq at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Per NBC's Ken Strickland, he will defend Democrats' efforts to send Bush a war-funding bill that sets a timetable for troop withdrawal. He'll also use strong language to renew his attack on the White House war strategy. "No more will Congress turn a blind eye to the Bush Administration's incompetence and dishonesty," Reid will say, according to excerpts released by his office.
While Democrats are still crafting the final language for their withdrawal plan, he'll call it "fair and reasonable... If the president disagrees, let him come to us with an alternative. Instead of sending us back to square one with a veto, some tough talk and nothing more, let him come to the table in the spirit of bipartisanship." In addition, Reid will criticize the president's assessment that "progress" is being made in Iraq, as Bush asserted in a speech on Friday. "He said that while there were still horrific attacks in Baghdad, 'The direction of the fight is beginning to shift.'... The White House transcript says the President made those remarks in the State of Michigan. I believe he made them in the state of denial."
Bush will respond with his own statement on Iraq at 9:50 am ET. A senior Administration official tells NBC's John Yang that the statement is a continuation of the White House's push on the war supplemental. Nothing new is expected.