President Bush will highlight economic progress in Iraq during a speech he is set to give shortly Wednesday in Washington.

In his address before the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Bush is expected to discuss U.S. efforts in rebuilding Iraq's schools, hospitals and infrastructure, as well as creating new businesses.

Wednesday's speech is the second in a series of addresses defending the administration's Iraq war policy.

Mr. Bush's approval ratings have dropped to the lowest of his presidency, thanks in part to the continued insurgency in Iraq that has claimed the lives of more than 2,000 U.S. service members.

Several Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to the president Tuesday, urging him to put public relations aside in today's speech and present what they termed a "real" strategy for success, naming specific benchmarks by which progress can be measured.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.