February 16, 2006

Republicans Criticize Rice Over Bush Mideast Policy

Republican senators criticized the Bush administration Wednesday over its policies in Iraq, Iran and the Palestinian territories, as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's first testimony on Capitol Hill in months exposed her to a tough grilling from some members of her own party

"I don't see, Madame Secretary, how things are getting better. I think things are getting worse. I think they're getting worse in Iraq. I think they're getting worse in Iran," Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., told Rice as she appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Rice also had a tense exchange with moderate Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I., over the pace of progress toward Israeli-Palestinian peace and the implications of the Hamas victory in Palestinian legislative elections last month.