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Senate Republicans Block Debate on Resolution Criticizing Iraqi Troop Buildup

  • VOA News

Republicans in the US Senate have blocked debate on a non-binding resolution expressing disapproval of President Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq.

In a procedural vote on Saturday, minority Republicans blocked the resolution from coming up for debate in the Democrat-controlled body.

The bipartisan resolution that failed to come to a vote today opposed deployment of more US troops while expressing continued support for American forces already in Iraq.

Under Senate rules, 60 members of the 100-member chamber must approve the procedural measure to clear the way for an up-or-down vote on the resolution. Fifty-six senators voted to allow debate on the measure and 34 voted against. Ten senators did not vote.

It is the second time this month minority Republicans have blocked senators from debating the president's strategy in Iraq.

The US House of Representatives, in a symbolic rebuke to the president's policies in Iraq, approved a similar resolution Friday.

Several senators spoke for and against the resolution prior to the rare Saturday session.

Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid of the US state of Nevada) said every senator has an obligation to say whether they support or oppose the president's plan to escalate the war.

Republican Senator John Warner of the US state of Virginia, a co-sponsor of the resolution, said lawmakers have "the right to respectfully disagree" with President Bush's strategy for Iraq. He said it is the duty of the Iraqi army to take on the sectarian violence in Iraq.
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