The Millennium UN Plaza Hotel in midtown, Senate Democratic leaders made a public plea for President Bush not to veto a $124 billion war spending measure that would order troops to begin leaving Iraq by October.
"We call on the president to look into his heart, give it one more thought and sign the bill that the American people want," Chuck Schumer said.
The inevitability of the veto made the Democratic overture little more than a publicity exercise designed to convey the message that they had done all they could.
But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid indicated that there was a point to it all, and that there was a possibility of reaching some kind of post-veto accord.
"If you look at his statements over the last few days, I think they have been promising," Reid said, citing what he called “buzz words” by the administration. "The president's changed his tune."
He added, "We understand that legislation is the art of compromise."
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