Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Senate votes on troop removal

CNN - Withdrawal timeline survives Senate vote
Defying President Bush, the Democratic-led Senate turned back a Republican attempt to remove a call for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq from a $124 billion war-spending bill, Tuesday.

Though the 50-48 vote is far short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto, Democrats said the measure was a sign of growing support for bringing the four-year-old war to an end.

[. . .]

Two Republicans -- Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Gordon Smith of Oregon -- joined 48 Democrats to turn back the GOP-backed amendment. (Watch Hagel question claims of progress in Iraq Video)

"The American people are demanding that we develop a bipartisan consensus for an honorable and responsible exit strategy from Iraq," said Hagel, a possible Republican presidential candidate. "If we fail to build a bipartisan foundation for an exit strategy, America will pay a high price for this blunder, one that we will have difficulty recovering from in the years ahead."

One Democrat, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, joined Connecticut independent Joe Lieberman to vote with the Republican leadership. And Virginia Sen. John Warner, a leading GOP opponent of Bush's plan to send 30,000 more troops to Iraq, rejoined the Republican fold on Tuesday's vote, warning that calling for withdrawal would sound "the bugle of retreat."
Obviously this will never make it off the President's desk. I feel like the Democrats know that they need to do something to make it at least look like they are trying to change the current policy even though they know it won't make it into law. I'm actually a little glad to see some cross party voting. I feel like Senators should vote their conscience (or at least their constituency's conscience) and not always just toe the party line.

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