President Bush is expected to announce his new Iraq strategy in an address to the nation early next week.
On Wednesday, the president is scheduled to host a Cabinet meeting and later a reception with congressional leaders.
Bush wrote a commentary published in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal promoting his agenda as the Democratic Party prepared to take control of Congress this week.
“In the days ahead I will be addressing our nation about a new strategy to help the Iraqi people gain control of the security situation,” Bush wrote.
The president has not yet signed off on any changes, including a possible increase of U.S. troops, according to sources with information about Bush’s deliberations on Iraq.
However, the sources said Tuesday he is “driving toward a conclusion” and a plan is “taking shape” which is “getting more detailed” as the president puts “on the finer points.” (Watch what the president is doing to prepare his plan Video)
National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe denied a report Tuesday that Bush was ready to sign off on increasing troop strength in Iraq by 20,000, saying that “the president has not made any decisions.”
Last month, CNN reported that Bush was considering sending in as many as 40,000 soldiers.
That would mean increasing troop levels to their highest point in the nearly four-year-old conflict to perhaps as many as 165,000.
Other reports indicated the U.S. troop increase would be closer to 20,000, with additional Iraqi forces making up the remainder of the “surge.”
A senior administration official involved in the Iraq strategy talks told CNN that a “targeted increase in troop strength” is “an active subject of discussion” and that the president was “significantly along in the process.”
As a result, the official added, it should “surprise no one the Pentagon is looking at the mechanics of making that option possible.”
Meanwhile, there are several steps — including consultations with Congress and the Iraqi government — that will happen before any tactical changes in his Iraq war policy are made, administration officials said.
“Tomorrow, the president will meet with his Cabinet to discuss the new Congress and domestic issues,” said White House spokesman Scott Stanzel on Tuesday.
Wednesday night “the president will host a bicameral, bipartisan reception with approximately a dozen members of Congress and their spouses,” the spokesman said.
Administration officials told CNN that Bush will be hosting the Democratic and Republican leadership of the House and Senate at the White House.
During that reception, he will hold “informal discussions about the year ahead,” including his deliberations on Iraq.
Those invited include incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader John Boehner, incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
However, a senior administration official noted the reception is more of a “social occasion.”
The White House will conduct courtesy calls to members of Congress when Bush devises his final Iraq plan, the official said.
Those calls will go out “within a couple of days” before Bush addresses the nation.
Bush has not yet briefed Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on his plan, but is expected to do so before addressing the nation.
However, administration officials have stressed they remain in “constant” contact with Iraqi officials.