The Senate narrowly defeated a Republican amendment Tuesday that would have removed a withdrawal plan from the emergency war spending bill. As the legislation stands, the U.S. will have to begin a troop withdrawal within four months after the law is enacted and complete the pullout by March 31, 2008.

Washington Post:

The Senate today narrowly endorsed a Democratic-led effort to set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq a year from now, voting down a Republican amendment that would have stripped the provision from a $122 emergency spending bill.

Senators voted 50 to 48 to reject the amendment, which was introduced by Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

In vote several weeks ago on a similar measure, only 48 senators supported the timeline for withdrawal. But today, the Democrats secured the votes of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.).

The vote came after the White House reiterated President Bush’s threat to veto any bill that sets deadlines for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

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