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Senate Showing Some Backbone


Diamond Member
Nov 22, 2003
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Senate Republicans Block Floor Vote on Iraq Resolution

By William Branigin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 17, 2007; 5:06 PM

Senate Republicans today blocked a floor vote on a House-passed resolution that expresses disapproval of President Bush's plan to send thousands of additional U.S. troops to Iraq, as a procedural motion to cut off debate on the measure fell short of the 60 votes needed.

It was the second time this month that minority Republicans successfully filibustered a nonbinding resolution opposing the troop buildup.

Senators voted 56-34 to invoke cloture and proceed to a floor vote on the resolution, with seven Republicans joining all the chamber's Democrats in calling for an end to the debate. But the motion fell four votes short of the threshold needed under Senate rules.

Most Republicans objected to a rule barring amendments to the resolution and demanded a vote on a separate measure, introduced by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), that pledges not to cut off funding for troops in the field.

The seven Republican senators who broke ranks with their colleagues and voted in favor of the cloture motion were John W. Warner (Va.), Chuck Hagel (Neb.), Norm Coleman (Minn.), Gordon Smith (Ore.), Olympia Snowe (Me.), Arlen Specter (Pa.) and Susan M. Collins (Me.). Warner is the former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He was a principal sponsor, along with Collins and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), of a resolution that criticized the troop buildup and urged Bush to consider alternatives. That nonbinding resolution failed to pass the same procedural hurdle on Feb. 5.

One independent senator who caucuses with the Democrats, Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.), joined 33 Republicans in opposing the cloture motion.

Ten senators -- nine Republicans and one Democrat who is ill -- did not vote today. Among those not present was Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a contender for the Republican presidential nomination next year. He chose instead to continue a scheduled campaign visit to Iowa, where he called the Senate vote meaningless described the resolution as "insulting to the public and the soldiers."


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