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Democrats Call on Cheney to Face Press Over Shooting Accident


Democratic leaders in Congress are calling on Vice President Dick Cheney to hold a news conference to answer questions about his accidental shooting of a fellow hunter.

Cheney's hunting companion, 78-year-old Harry Whittington, suffered a minor heart attack Tuesday at a hospital in Texas where he was taken after the accident. Doctors say bird shot lodged in Whittington's heart, and that he will stay in the hospital under observation for about a week.

The Texas attorney was hit with shotgun pellets in his face, neck and chest by the vice president while the men were quail hunting on Saturday.

Reporters and opposition Democrats are angry at the White House's late disclosure of the accident. After a breakfast meeting with President Bush Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called on Cheney to hold a news conference, saying he has not held one in years.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the Bush administration has what she called a "habit of closed government."

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