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CNN BREAKING NEWS

House Reaches Deal with White House on Iraq Language

Aired October 2, 2002 - 09:44   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: If you were with us in the last half hour, you heard Senate minority leader Trent Lott confirm that the president and the House leadership have agreed on wording for a resolution for Iraq.
Let's go now to White House correspondent John King. The senator lauding the House leadership for showing such, he said, leadership on this issue -- John.

JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Paula, still disagreement in the Senate, between the Senate and the White House. But later today, the House International Relations Committee will be marking up, considering a draft resolution that has the agreement, the backing of the president, the House Democratic leader Dick Gephardt, the House speaker, Republican Denny Hastert.

Some concessions from the White House to get this agreement, concessions from the original proposal Mr. Bush sent up to Capitol Hill a week ago.

Here are some the details in this resolution as we were told by both administration and congressional sources. It would require the president to make a determination, to notify Congress that he has deemed that diplomacy has failed, and will not bring about Iraqi compliance with the United Nations resolutions, only then after certifying in his view diplomacy has failed would the president be authorized to use force. It would limit the U.S. military force specifically to Iraq, and the scope of any U.S. military actions to dealing with -- quote -- "the current ongoing threats posed by Iraq and to forcing compliance with relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions that, of course, date back to the end of the Persian Gulf War.

It would require Mr. Bush to make the determination that using military force against Iraq would in no way detract from the ongoing war on terrorism, including efforts to hunt down Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. It would also require the president to submit reports to Congress on a regular basis, every 60 days, not only on just ongoing military operations in Iraq, but on any administration planning for post-military activities, like peacekeeping forces in Iraq or like reconstruction within Iraq.

More specifics in this resolution than the White House initially favored, much more limited language, in terms of what the U.S. military would be authorized to do by the U.S. Congress, but the White House officials saying the president has a resolution he can work with that gives him the bottom line, authority by Congress to use all necessary and appropriate means against Iraq, if he deems it necessary. The house begins consideration in committee today on the floor next week, the question now is -- what will the Senate do? Still some Competing proposals, excuse me, on that side of Capitol Hill.

ZAHN: A larger issue, not only what will the Senate do, but when will it do it? They're running out of time to get back home and campaign, right?

KING: They are running out of time. Most believe that the documents that the president has now agreed on with the house will be very similar, if not the exact same thing passed by the Senate. In the end, there will be proposed amendments and competing proposals. In the end, you need 51 votes. Right now, what our sources tell us is the only proposal that has 51 votes is the agreement that you see on the House side now, but there is still some haggling to do in the Senate.

ZAHN: All right, John King, thanks so much. Appreciate that update.

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