Barack Obama says the U.S. mission in Iraq is an "extraordinary
achievement" that sets an example for how Americans should work together
to solve the country's domestic issues.
During his weekly address Saturday, Mr. Obama expressed gratitude to the
1.5 million Americans who have served in Iraq since 2003, and to the
families of the 4,500 members of the military who died there.
U.S. troops are completing their handover of security responsibilities
to Iraqi forces ahead of a December 31 deadline for all U.S. troops'
president also strongly urged Congress to set aside partisan differences
and resolve budgetary issues so the nation could meet its
responsibilities to military veterans. His remarks were broadcast before
the U.S. Congress finalized funding measures that will allow all U.S.
government operations to continue.
On Saturday, the Senate approved a roughly $1-trillion spending bill to
fund federal government operations through September 2012. The measure
cleared the House of Representatives on Friday.
Separately, Vice President Joe Biden spoke by phone Saturday with Iraq's
Kurdish regional president, Masoud Barzani, and Iraqi Council of
Representatives Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi about the end of U.S. direct
involvement in the Iraq war.
The White House said Biden reiterated U.S. support for an inclusive
coalition government in Iraq.