The White House said Friday that Democrats should not try to revoke Congress' 2002 vote authorizing the war in Iraq, and pulling US troops out would bring chaos.
"We think the resolution that is in place is operative," White House spokesman Tony Fratto said, referring to the congressional authorization for President George W. Bush to use the armed forces to enforce UN Security Council resolutions on Iraq. "We're operating under a mandate."
A spokesman for Sen. Harry Reid, leader of the Senate's Democratic majority, said the White House is not only confused but is in denial.
"They can spin all they want, but the fact is that President Bush is ignoring a bipartisan majority of Congress, his own military commanders and the American public in escalating the war," said Reid spokesman Jim Manley. "The American people have demanded a change of course in Iraq and Democrats are committed to holding President Bush accountable."
Discontent with the war was a major factor in the Democratic victory over Bush's Republicans in last year's November elections, when they became majority party in both chambers of Congress for the first time since 1992.