Wednesday :: Jan 24, 2007

Biden Gets 12-9 Vote Against Surge

by Steve


Hagel took the lead in speaking out against the surge in the Foreign Relations Committee today, as their version of a nonbinding resolution opposing the surge passed 12-9, with Hagel the only GOP senator joining the Democrats.

“There is no strategy,” he said of the Bush administration’s war management. “This is a pingpong game with American lives. These young men and women that we put in Anbar province, in Iraq, in Baghdad are not beans; they’re real lives. And we better be damn sure we know what we’re doing, all of us, before we put 22,000 more Americans into that grinder.”
“I am not confident that President Bush’s plan will succeed,” said Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, senior Republican on the committee.
But he also said he would vote against the measure. “It is unclear to me how passing a nonbinding resolution that the president has already said he will ignore will contribute to any improvement or modification of our Iraq policy.”
“The president is deeply invested in this plan, and the deployments ... have already begun,” Lugar added.
He suggested a more forceful role for Congress, and said lawmakers must ensure the administration is “planning for contingencies, including the failure of the Iraqi government to reach compromises and the persistence of violence despite U.S. and Iraqi government efforts.”

I suspect that the Senate will eventually send to the House a resolution different from the one that Hagel and Biden put forward today, one that is more focused in opposition to Bush’s plan and one which requires that the White House take certain steps and targets Al Qaeda in the al-Anbar province, instead of immersing ourselves in the sectarian strife between Shiite and Sunni militias.

Collins, along with Smith, R-Ore., and Coleman, R-Minn., are co-sponsoring a resolution drafted by Sen. John Warner, R-Va., that states Senate opposition to the president's plan to send 21,500 troops but leaves open the possibility of Bush sending in a much smaller number of troops, particularly to the western Anbar province.
On Tuesday, Brownback and Voinovich, R-Ohio, said they too were inclined to vote in favor of Warner's measure.

Sure, the White House will say that the Congress should not be telling the commander in chief what to do operationally, but we are way past that now, and the Warner resolution allows many GOP senators the chance to reject the president’s death wish to involve our troops in the civil war, and therefore provides a larger vote margin for the eventual resolution.

Steve :: 11:55 AM :: Comments (11) :: Digg It!