On the same day, Secretaries Gates and Rice held secret closed-door briefings for U.S. lawmakers, and none of the officials spoke to reporters. Democratic Congressman William Delahunt said, “There was no meaningful consultation with Congress during the negotiations on this agreement and the American people were totally abandoned in all respects.” And Oona Hathaway, a Law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, called the lack of consultation with the U.S. Congress unprecedented and said aspects of the agreement go beyond the independent constitutional powers of the President of the United States.  This measure is part of an agreement with the Iraqi government and coalition partners and is a response to the risks posed by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. General Raymond Odierno said some U.S. forces would remain at local security posts, as training and tutoring teams would be on duty in June 2009 beyond the deadline set in the Agreement on the Status of the Armed Forces. By contrast, Gates estimated that by June 30, U.S. troops will be “coming from cities and populated areas.” “That`s where we`ll have handed over the 18 provinces of the Iraqi province,” he predicted.  A spokesman for Odierno, Lieutenant-Colonel James Hutton, said that the soldiers in the cities were not combat troops, but “enablers” who would provide services such as medical care, air traffic control and helicopter assistance that the Iraqis cannot carry out themselves.
 Odierno`s statements have sparked outrage from some Iraqi lawmakers who say the United States is paving the way for a violation of the interim agreement.  Continued security gains and the growing capacity and confidence of the Iraqi government and security forces are reasons why the United States and The Iraqis have been able to negotiate these agreements. The delegation of the Republic of Iraq, led by Mr. Abdul-Karim Hashim Mostafa, Senior Secretary of State, and the United States Government delegation, led by Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale, today held discussions on strategic dialogue with respect to video conferencing, in accordance with the Strategic Framework Agreement for a Friendship and Cooperation Relationship between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq.