Senate deadlocks on Iraq War resolution
(New York- WABC, February 18, 2007) (WABC) -- By a narrow margin, the U.S. Senate passed up an opportunity to publicly rebuke President Bush.
Unlike members of the house, Senate Democrats could not muster enough support to pass a symbolic resolution condemning a troop increase in Iraq.
Eyewitness News reporter Patricia Wu joins us with more.
They certainly tried. Democratic presidential hopefuls, including senators Clinton and Obama, even rearranged their campaign schedules to get back to Washington to cast the symbolic votes. But it just wasn't enough.
The 56-to-34 vote fell four short of the 60 needed to advance the nonbinding measure. The resolution is identical to one recently passed by the house.
Seven GOP senators broke ranks, compared with only two joining in an earlier test on the issue but it wasn't enough.
Republican leaders believe the resolution would hurt troop morale.
"This political theater empowers our enemies, disheartens our own troops," South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said. "And I think this is not worthy of the United States Senate's time"
"We need a new direction in Iraq. Escalation is not the answer," Sen. Harry Reid said in senate floor debate. "More of the same is not the answer."
The Democrats in the senate failed to pick up where house Democrats succeeded on Friday when the speaker, Nancy Pelosi, pushed through a non-binding resolution.
"It was a bipartisan nonbinding resolution that should send a very clear and firm message to the president of the United States that the American people spoke in November," House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi said on Friday. "That they wanted a new direction in Iraq."
So what's next in congress? In the senate the majority leader, Harry Reid, has told lawmakers that he will look to anti-terrorism legislation to force even more debate over the war.
After the November elections, the Democrats believe they are in the driver's seat in Washington and polls continue to show strong public opposition to the war which has killed more than 3,100 U.S. troops.
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