Bush reiterated his threat to veto any bill that doesn't meet his approval. A Senate bill would require a U.S. troop exit in Iraq to begin within 120 days, with a completion goal of March 31, 2008. A House bill orders all combat troops out by September 1, 2008.
The president invited congressional leaders from both parties to discuss the war. Democratic leaders said, however, they don't believe Bush is willing to negotiate on the dispute.
Bush also said there are signs of improvement in Iraq.
"We are beginning to see some progress toward the mission, to completing the mission," he said. "Our troops are also training Iraqis. In other words, part of the effort is not only to provide security to neighborhoods, but we are constantly training Iraqis so that they can do this job."
In his speech, Bush told war veterans in Fairfax, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, that time is running out on the war- funding dispute.
THE COMPLETE STORY:
RFE/RL's complete coverage of events in Iraq and that country's ongoing transition.