Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Senate Votes To Move Forward On Iraq-Withdrawal Bill

With Republicans realizing that the American people are growing weary of them sprinting away from a debate about our direction in Iraq, the Senate today voted 89-9 to move forward with a full debate on S.J. Res. 9, the United States Policy in Iraq Resolution of 2007.

The binding resolution, proposed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and cosponsored by 41 other Senators -- all from the Democratic caucus -- requires George W. Bush to begin removing troops from Iraq "not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this joint resolution, with the goal of [full] redeploying, by March 31, 2008."

"It's far past time that we bring this misguided war in Iraq to a close," said Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI). "This is binding legislation that would bring to an end our involvement in what is perhaps the biggest foreign policy mistake in our country's history.

While this is a positive step forward, you can bet as sure as Bush will pardon Scooter Libby, that Senate Republicans will filibuster this bill from going any further. The vote today was simply to allow debate. The next vote will be to end debate (60 votes required), followed by a simple majority vote needed for passage.

Senate Democrats do not realistically expect enough Republicans to support bringing our troops home from Iraq to help make it past the next vote but Reid is committed to bringing this issue to the floor again and again and forcing Republicans to vote on it until Americans see exactly how little the GOP truly "supports the troops."

"The original mission no longer exists. Yet President Bush wants to stay the same failed course, to surge toward more of the same, to sustain failure," said Reid today. "The Senate must finally send a clear message to the Commander-in-Chief: President Bush, it is time for a new way forward - to change course."

But I think Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) said it best in a speech before the vote:

"Mr. President, you're leading us off a cliff. Stop!"

Update: Do you know which nine Republicans apparently want our troops to stay in Iraq forever? You do now.