Republicans Block Vote on Democrats' Anti-War Resolution
July 7, 2008
(CNSNews.com) - Democrats may control the Senate, but they don't always get their way, as events proved on Monday.
Senate Democrats, eager to blast President Bush's plan to send 21,000 additional troops to Iraq, wanted to pass a nonbinding resolution criticizing the so-called troop surge.
But on Monday, Republicans blocked Democrats from doing so. The Senate vote to cut off debate was only 49-47; 60 votes were needed to allow a vote on the resolution itself.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean was not happy about it.
"This is the most important issue facing our nation and the American people have made it clear where they stand. We believe that the American people deserve to know where their representatives in Congress stand on the president's escalation of the Iraq War."
Dean suggested that Senate Republicans are "afraid" to make their position on the troop escalation public. "By voting to block this debate, Republicans have essentially given a green light to President Bush to continue down the same failed strategy in Iraq," he said.
"This obstructionism makes it clear that Republicans in Congress are not interested in offering a new direction in Iraq that the American people called for last November," Dean added.
Republicans said Democrats are the obstructionists because they want to vote on only one resolution - the one bashing Bush for the troop surge.
Republicans want to debate two other resolutions, not just the one the Democrats are pushing.
A second resolution says Congress will provide U.S. troops the support they need to carry out the U.S. mission in Iraq. The third resolution opposes a cutoff in funding for the troops.
But Democrats are determined to make a political point with their resolution, as Howard Dean indicated:
"This bi-partisan resolution is a critical first step to holding the president accountable and it is the basis for the first real debate on the President's flawed Iraq policy since the war began nearly four years ago," he said.
Sen. Harry Reid has insisted that the anti-escalation resolution will come up again in connection with other Senate debates and votes.
Even if it passes, the resolution wouldn't change U.S. policy.
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