Pelosi Won't Attend Petraeus Briefing

ByABC News
April 24, 2007, 8:06 PM

WASHINGTON, Apr. 24, 2007— -- As the House and Senate prepare to vote this week on the final conference report on the $124 billion troop funding bill -- which would also mandate that U.S. combat troops begin withdrawing from Iraq on Oct. 1 at the latest -- Gen. David Petraeus is scheduled to come to the Hill tomorrow to brief lawmakers on the progress of the recent troop escalation.

ABC News has learned, however, that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will not attend the briefing.

"She can't make the briefing tomorrow," a Democratic aide told ABC News Tuesday evening. "But she spoke with the general via phone today at some length."

A Pelosi aide said the speaker on Tuesday requested a one-on-one meeting with Petraeus but that could not be worked out. He said their phone conversation lasted 30 minutes.

Last week, House Democratic leaders were criticized by their Republican counterparts when they initially declined an invitation from Petraeus to brief House members on the status of the war due to "scheduling conflicts," as first reported by Roll Call.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, called the decision "irresponsible" and said it constituted a "dereliction of duty." But by the end of the day, Pelosi's office changed course and scheduled a briefing for members of the House for Wednesday, April 25.

The office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the senator would attend the classified briefing with senators on Wednesday at 4 p.m.