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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 November 2006, 21:12 GMT
Bush drive to heal partisan split
Bush and cabinet appear on White House steps
Mr Bush spoke surrounded by his cabinet
US President George W Bush has appealed to members of the US Congress to rise above party differences, after heavy Republican losses in mid-term polls.

"It is our responsibility to put the elections behind us and work together" on the issues facing the US, he said.

He has met Nancy Pelosi, a key Democrat who is set to become Speaker of the House of Representatives. She has called for a change of policy in Iraq.

The Democrats seized both the Houses and the Senate in Tuesday's elections.

Former CIA director Robert Gates

"I'm open to any idea or suggestion that will help us achieve our goals of defeating the terrorists and ensuring that Iraq's democratic government succeeds," Mr Bush said, surrounded by cabinet members after a meeting with them.

He said American politicians had a responsibility to ensure that US troops in Iraq had the resources needed to prevail.

Senate graphic

Republican defeat in the mid-term polls has been blamed on the Iraq war, and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, a key architect, has resigned.

President George W Bush has named former CIA director Robert Gates as his new defence chief.

Ms Pelosi has said the Democrats will work with "civility" with the Republicans.

On Iraq she said: "We cannot continue down this catastrophic path."

Senate balance

On Wednesday the president said the Republicans had taken a "thumping" in Tuesday's vote, in which the Democrats gained control of the House for the first time in 12 years.

I think Rumsfeld should have stepped down a long time ago
Cample, New York

The Democrats' victory was also later confirmed in the Senate, where the race hanged on one seat in Virginia.

Republican George Allen admitted defeat to his opponent Jim Webb.

The Democrat win in Virginia left both parties with 49 seats each but two independents have said they will vote with the Democrats, which would give the party the 51 votes they need to claim a majority for the first time since 2002.

Control of the Senate and its committees will give Democrats the right to hold hearings and approve presidential appointments, including those to the Supreme Court.


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