Senate Rejects Calls for Iraq Troop Withdrawal
Posted on Jun 22, 2006
The stricter of the two bills being voted on—a measure that would have mandated a pullout by 2007—went down 86-13. The bill that didn’t have a timetable was defeated 60-39, with all but one Republican and six Democrats voting against the measure.
UPDATE: The Senate is weighing a modest troop reduction in the coming months.
The GOP-controlled Senate on Thursday rejected Democratic calls to start withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq by year’s end, as the two parties sought to define their election-year positions on a war that has grown increasingly unpopular.
“Withdrawal is not an option. Surrender is not a solution,” declared Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, who characterized Democrats as defeatists wanting to abandon Iraq before the mission is complete.
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada, in turn, portrayed Republican leaders as blindly following President Bush’s “failed” stay-the-course strategy. “It is long past time to change course in Iraq and start to end the president’s open-ended commitment,” he said.