Senate Democrats once again fail to end debate on Iraq resolution
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Senate Democrats failed to garner the 60 votes they needed to consider a nonbinding resolution opposing President Bush’s plan to send more troops to Iraq.
The vote was 56-34, with seven Republicans crossing the aisle to vote with senators who oppose the troop buildup.
The measure was identical to a nonbinding resolution the House passed Friday denouncing the plan to send 21,500 additional troops to Iraq.
The Saturday vote was a procedural decision on whether the Senate should move on to a final vote on a resolution that expresses opposition to Bush’s plan.
Republicans pushed for amendments that would address funding of the war, which they said would make the vote meaningful.
“Democrats are afraid to cut off funding,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said.
“If you believe this is a lost cause, and victory can’t be achieved, that our people are in the middle of a mess, a civil war and not one person should get injured or killed because we’ve made huge mistakes … then cut off funding, have a vote on something that matters,” he added.
Graham called the resolution “political theater.”
Senate Republicans succeeded earlier this month in blocking a vote on a similar resolution. Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada urged Senate Republicans to drop their procedural moves.
In the House, 17 Republicans joined Democrats on Friday in passing the two-sentence resolution. It expresses support for U.S. troops in Iraq but states that Congress “disapproves” of Bush’s troop increase. (Full story)
On February 5, all but two GOP senators voted to block debate on the similar resolution. Saturday’s vote saw five more GOP senators join the Democrats.
That last part actually isn’t true. They didn’t vote to “block” the debate. They wanted to debate other Iraq resolutions, which Democrats didn’t want to do. Senate Dems wanted to force a vote on one resolution, without debating others.
Senate Republicans were a real disappointment when we had control of both houses of Congress. They’re proving to be our saving grace now that we don’t.
Hat tip: McQ