Congress' new Democratic chiefs criticized plans President Bush is considering to boost U.S. troop strength in Iraq as the White House reshuffled its military leaders in the Middle East and its national security team.
In a letter sent to Bush on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged him to begin pulling troops out of Iraq in four to six months. They also asked the president to begin shifting the mission of U.S. forces there from combat to training and logistical support of the Iraqis.
"We are well past the point of more troops for Iraq," Pelosi, D-Calif., and Reid, D-Nev., wrote a day after their party took control of Capitol Hill.
The Democrats' criticism of a troop buildup was not new. But the letter underscored a new reality for Bush: With the new congressional leadership, his Iraq policy will be challenged at every turn by lawmakers.