GOP Sinks Iraq Debate in Senate
Republicans managed once again to block debate on the anti-escalation resolution that continues to stall in the Senate. Democrats had billed the Saturday vote as a referendum on the war and, as Majority Leader Harry Reid rightly pointed out, “A majority of the United States Senate just voted on Iraq, and a majority of the United States Senate is against the escalation in Iraq.”
New York Times:
Seven Republicans split from their party and joined 48 Democrats and one Independent in calling for a debate — five more Republicans than during a similar showdown earlier this month. All but two of the seven face re-election next year.
The Republicans who broke ranks were Senators John W. Warner of Virginia, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Gordon H. Smith of Oregon, Norm Coleman of Minnesota, and Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins, both of Maine.
Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, the majority leader, said the result showed that Senate sentiment was running against the president.
“A majority of the United States Senate just voted on Iraq, and a majority of the United States Senate is against the escalation in Iraq,” Mr. Reid said as he withdrew the resolution. He and other party leaders said they intended to introduce quickly more substantive proposals on Iraq when the Senate returns from a weeklong break and begins considering legislation to enact recommendations from the bipartisan Sept. 11 commission.