Obama to meet with congressional leaders on Iraq

(USA TODAY) President Obama will meet Wednesday with the bipartisan congressional leadership to discuss Iraq.

His guests at the White House will be Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

The meeting is part of Obama's "ongoing consultations with Congressional Leadership on foreign policy issues, including the situation in Iraq." said a White House statement.

Obama is assessing options as an insurgent army nears Baghdad, threatening to depose the Iraq government.

Those options range from possible U.S. air strikes to negotiations involving neighboring Iran. Another possibility is sending a limited number of special forces to Baghdad to help train Iraqi forces.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama and his national security team "will continue to consult with members of Congress to share views and discuss possible responses. Those consultations will continue, including closed briefings with a number of committees this week."

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said "the Speaker expects the President to offer a coherent strategy to ensure that Iraq does not descend further into lawless barbarism. We spent years, vast sums of money, and -- most importantly -- thousands of American lives to improve Iraq's security and make America safer. Squandering that legacy would be a tragic mistake."


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