Pelosi, Obama meet amid Afghan debate

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who's said there's little support in Congress for adding troops in Afghanistan, met Tuesday with President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden, Harris tear into Trump in first joint appearance The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden, Harris's first day as running mates It's Harris — and we're not surprised MORE, who is expected to ask for a significant buildup next week.

The visit came amid a busy afternoon of consultations between Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates. But aides for the speaker and the White House declined to say what the two discussed.


"Ahead of the long holiday weekend, the president and the Speaker discussed a variety of issues, as they do from time to time," said a Democratic aide.

Shortly before the meeting, Obama hinted to reporters that he intends to send more troops, telling reporters at the White House, “My intention is to finish the job.”

Obama is expected to ask for 34,000 more troops in an address to the nation Tuesday, according to news accounts.

That will not sit well with Pelosi's fellow members of the liberal wing of House Democrats, and perhaps not Pelosi either. As far back as September, Pelosi indicated that a strategy of escalation in Afghanistan might not be well received.

“I don't think there's much support for sending more troops to Afghanistan in the country or in Congress,” Pelosi told reporters two months ago, after a request by the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan for 40,000 more troops was leaked.

Fellow members of the party's liberal wing said that they hoped Pelosi would bring Obama the message that Congress and the American people don't support an escalation in the country.

"I hope she tells him our caucus is not going to be happy about this," said Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.). "An exit strategy to be developed later is not an exit strategy."

Pelosi appeared to be the lone congressional leader invited to the White House to discuss Obama's impending Afghanistan troop announcement.

If the meeting was on Afghanistan, Pelosi was the first to meet with Obama since reports surfaced that he has decided on an Afghanistan strategy and, more importantly, settled on the number of new troops he wants to send.

And she may also be the last. Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Republican leader John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerWary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker Bottom line Cheney battle raises questions about House GOP's future MORE (R-Ohio), said he was unaware of any White House outreach to congressional Republicans on the topic of Afghanistan ahead of Tuesday's planned Presidential address to the nation.

Obama could receive significant support for his Afghanistan plan from Republicans who have pressed him to add more troops.

A House Democratic leadership aide added that there were no known plans to have congressional leaders meet face-to-face with the president prior to his formal announcement.

Obama is considering several options that involve different troops levels. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, has reportedly requested that an additional 40,000 troops be sent. But Obama is choosing between options that range from 10,000 troops to 80,000 troops.

The U.S. has 68,000 troops in Afghanistan.

-- Sam Youngman contritbuted to this article.