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Quick Guide & Transcript: Bush and Congress seek war spending compromise, Teen saves mom's life

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(CNN Student News) -- May 3, 2007

Quick Guide

Constitution in Action - Find out what's next in the war spending debate after a presidential veto.

Iraq: Next Steps - Learn what nations may steal the spotlight at a summit on Iraqi security.

Young Hero - Meet a Florida boy whose quick thinking helped save his mother's life.



MONICA LLOYD, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: We're glad to have you with us for this Thursday edition of CNN Student News. I'm Monica Lloyd. The government in action: After a bill, a veto and an unsuccessful override attempt, the president and Congress look for compromise on funding the Iraq war. The guest list is really interesting: A resort city in Egypt is hosting a conference on Iraq's security, but other nations may end up stealing the spotlight. And the heroism of a teen: A Florida woman is safe and sound after her son's quick thinking helped save her life.

First Up: Constitution in Action

LLOYD: First up today, working toward a compromise in Washington. If you were with us yesterday, you know the president exercised his veto power and rejected a war spending bill that included a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and sent it back to Congress. The next move in the political playbook was for Congress to try to override that veto. It requires a two-thirds vote. When the House voted again Wednesday, the override attempt fell short. As Dana Bash explains, the White House and Congress now must work together to create a new bill both sides can accept.


DANA BASH, CNN REPORTER: Democrats knew they did not have enough votes to override the presidents veto.

CONGRESSMAN: Two-thirds not being in the affirmative, the bill is not passed.

BASH: But tried anyway.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Now into the fifth year of a failed policy, this administration should get a clue. It's not working.

BASH: It was a combative closing scene before the next crucial act.

REP. JERRY LEWIS, (R) CALIFORNIA: You had your dog-and-pony show. You've posed for political holy pictures on TV. Now what is your plan to support the troops?

BASH: Moments after the vote, the next act was underway: a bipartisan White House meeting aimed at clearing the poisonous air to make way for a compromise bill.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) MINORITY LEADER: I think there's a way for us to work together to try to find common ground.

PELOSI: Democrats are committed to ending this war. And we hope to do so in unison with the president.

BASH: Democratics in Congress may have picked this Iraq funding fight with the White House. But Republican lawmakers, under pressure from war weary constituents back home, could hold the key to compromise

REP. MIKE PENCE, (R) INDIANA: I think it is a priority for every member of Congress, Republican and Democrat, that we send a message to the civilian authority in Iraq that says we need you to make progress.

BASH: GOP Congressman Mike Pence stands with the White House in opposing legislation that sets a timeline for troop withdrawal. But he represents many rank and file Republicans who support revoking economic aid for Iraqis if they don't meet specific benchmarks showing progress.

SEN. JOHN ENSIGN, (R) NEVADA: You tie the benchmarks to Iraqi reconstruction money instead of to military timelines. That would give incentive for all sides in Iraq to want to meet those, because none of them want to lose the money.

BASH: As for Democrats, senior Democratic sources tell CNN they will not try again to pass a war spending bill with a timeline for troop withdrawal because the president won't sign it. Democrats know that means in the end, they'll lose support from many who will not vote to fund the war without a plan to bring troops home. Dana Bash, CNN, Capitol Hill.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Time for the Shoutout! Who has the constitutional responsibility of making the nation's laws? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it: A) Congress, B) The president, C) The Supreme Court or D) The attorney general? You've got three seconds -- GO! Article I, Section 1: All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Iraq: Next Steps

LLOYD: Representatives from dozens of countries are meeting in Egypt right now to discuss Iraq. Earlier this week, we told you the focus of this conference is Iraqi security and defense. But with the U.S., Iran and Syria all attending, Zain Verjee looks at some other conversations that could happen during the summit in Sharm el-Sheikh.


ZAIN VERJEE, CNN REPORTER: Iraq is supposed to be the star of this party, but the diplomatic dance between Iran and the U.S. may steal the spotlight. A coy Condoleezza Rice is cracking open a door that could lead to the highest level talks in 30 years. She told reporters on her plane, if she runs into Iran's foreign minister she is "planning to be polite and see what the encounter brings."

The U.S. accuses Iran of helping Iraqi fighters with training and deadly explosive devices that kill U.S. troops. Once prepared to only talk about Iraq, Rice now says if the conversation wanders into Iran's nuclear program, she'll go with the flow. It's unclear whether Iran even wants to sit down with the U.S. without getting something in return.

JON ALTERMAN, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: Iran feels it has a very strong position. Iran is not looking to pick a fight, but Iran also doesn't feel the need to be helpful.

VERJEE: Another sideshow: Syria. The U.S. says it's turning a blind eye to insurgents crossing its borders into Iraq, and is undermining Lebanon's fragile government. All eyes are on Rice to see if she reverses U.S. policy and talks to the Syrians.

And Iraq's Sunni Arab neighbors are coming with their own concerns. Frustrated that Iraq's prime minister continues to shun Iraq's Sunnis, they are fearful of Iran's position as a powerful Shia force in the region and its potential nuclear threat.

Secretary Rice is playing down expectations at this summit, saying progress on Iraq will take time. But with competing agendas among Iraq's neighbors, it's hard to see how the focus can remain on Iraq's future. Zain Verjee, CNN, Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.


Spoken Word

ARWA DAMON, CNN REPORTER: Pretty much everything that you could possibly imagine reporting from a war zone brings with it. Of course the dangers of being in a war zone, it brings with it a really complicated medley of emotions. What we face today, four years after the war began, is very different than what we faced in 2003. Back then, right after the fall of Saddam Hussein, when an attack happened, we could go to the scene of the attack and report the story from there. But as the security situation has deteriorated, it is becoming increasingly difficult for us to be able to move around Baghdad and move around the entire country. And what we have been doing more over the last few years is relying on our Iraqi staff, and they truly are in many ways the unsung heroes of what we do. They are our eyes and our ears on the streets. They are able to get places that we, because of the security situation, cannot go to anymore, and they really are the ones that are risking their lives day in and day out so that we can bring the news to you.

World Press Freedom Day

LLOYD: CNN reporter Arwa Damon, describing the dangers of working in Iraq. She and all journalists are being honored today on World Press Freedom Day. This annual event highlights the role a free press plays in strengthening democracy and keeping citizens informed about what's going on. It also pays tribute to all of those who risk their own freedom to bring you the news.

LLOYD: Reporters get their information by asking questions in virtually every country, every day. Now it's your turn. Teachers, log on to and send us your students' questions about the news or journalism as a possible career.

Young Hero

LLOYD: When your alarm goes off in the morning, does it take you a little while to really feel awake, like you need a couple minutes to clear the sleep from your head so you can start thinking clearly? Well Tammie Fields of WTSP tells us about a boy in Florida whose quick thinking when he woke up saved his mother's life.


RICHARD CUBIE, HELPED MOTHER PUT OUT FIRE: I found it right here. It was here hanging and I was too nervous. So, the thing I did, was to pull it and run toward my mom and give it to her.

TAMMIE FIELDS, WTSP REPORTER: Thirteen-year-old Richard Cubie knew his mother Mariseli Diaz needed him.

CUBIE: I woke up. I thought my mom was cooking, but then I see a big smoke and I'm like, ok, cooking doesn't make a lot of smoke. And then I opened the door and all this is burning.

FIELDS: This is where Richard goes to bed every night. Every morning at 7:30 on the dot, his alarm clock goes off. This particular morning it did not go off. By 8:15 he's out the door and at the bus stop. It's a good thing that didn't happen this morning. It could have cost his mother her life.

FIELDS: His mother's bed was on fire. Her hair was singed and she had a few minor burns. The culprit? A new extension cord that was plugged in right underneath her bed, an extension cord that the Hillsborough County fire investigator believes was faulty. Diaz poured water on the electrical blaze which only made it worse.

CUBIE: That's the only thing I care about, because I don't care about this stuff. I only care that my mom is okay.


Before We Go

LLOYD: Before we go, a 25,000 ton disappearing act. Now you see it, now you don't. What's hidden behind all this smoke are the remains of the Fulton Road Bridge, which used to stand in Cleveland, Ohio. The rundown, 75-year-old bridge was reduced to rubble to make way for its replacement. But it didn't go down without a fight. Demolition crews needed two tries to turn the concrete bohemoth into a cloud of dust.


LLOYD: And as the bridge says goodbye, so do we. But we'll see you tomorrow for more CNN Student News. Thanks for watching. I'm Monica Lloyd.


May 3, 2007  (10:05)



• Interactive: Who's who in Iraq
• Interactive: Sectarian divide


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