Thursday, March 15, 2007

Senate Slams Door on Iraq Pullout

The Senate voted today by a 50-48 margin against Majority Leader Reid's proposed timetable for a pullout from Iraq. Ben Nelson, Mark Pryor, and Joe Lieberman joined all but one Republican in voting against the measure.

The Senate then adopted Judd Gregg's proposed amendment - which states that the Senate will not eliminate or reduce funds for troops in the field - by a margin of 82-16.

This makes clear that the Senate simply does not support a forced pullout from Iraq - at least not right now. While the House Appropriations Committee voted for an Iraq supplemental that includes a timetable, the Senate's resounding vote against a similar measure will make it harder to pass the supplemental in the House. And even if it does pass the House, it's dead as soon as the gavel comes down.

It also may be better for the Democrats in the near term. It allows them to tell the anti-war left that they have made a good effort to force a pullout, but simply do not have the votes. Now they can turn to other matters - at least for a few months.

Update: The Washington Post covers the story here.

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