President Bush is mapping strategy with GOP lawmakers in his drive to keep Congress from rewriting any trade pact he reaches with Mexico or other countries.
Bush returned to the White House early Tuesday from a five-day trip to California and Texas where he met with Mexico's president and served notice that he will fight hard to keep Congress from shackling his hand on trade.Bush was meeting Tuesday morning with top House Republicans primarily to discuss how to keep trade agreements on the fast track through Congress. He also was making two appearances before business leaders to make his trade pitch.
With Congress back in town after its Easter recess, Bush also planned to sit down with Democratic and Republican leaders from both the House and Senate to review developments in the Persian Gulf and other matters.
Bush and his wife, Barbara, attended a memorial service in Dallas for former Republican Sen. John G. Tower of Texas and his daughter, Marian, killed in last week's crash of a commuter plane in Brunswick, Ga.
In Houston, Bush said critics of a free trade agreement with Mexico - including organized labor, environmentalists and some Democrats - were "fearmongers" who failed to learn from the gulf war that "defeatism produces defeat, while confidence and self-reliance produce greatness."