Monday, January 29, 2007

Anti-"Surge" Resolutions Imperiled, Say Goopers

Passage of the non-binding Senate resolutions against the "surge" may not be the sure thing they looked to be at the end of last week.

The Senate's top Republican doubts that a resolution opposing a troop buildup in Iraq will pass, saying most lawmakers in his party believe "this is the last chance for the Iraqis to step up."

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he believes Republicans might be willing to coalesce around an alternative resolution setting benchmark goals for the Iraqi government. But congressional support will probably splinter given the many competing proposals on Iraq, he said.

"I'm not certain any" will get the necessary votes, McConnell said.

Odd. Today, Robert Novak is saying the same thing:

The Democratic plan was for Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden to sit down over the weekend with his longtime Republican colleague, Sen. John Warner, and hammer out a consensus bipartisan resolution opposing President Bush's troop surge in Iraq. But Warner, who has been making backroom deals for 28 years in the Senate, informed Biden late last Thursday: no deal.

Warner wrote that the "will of the Senate" should be determined in "open" session, not closeted negotiations. That killed the Democratic leadership's dream of passing a Biden-crafted anti-surge resolution by 70 votes or more. Such a proposal now cannot get the 60 votes needed to end a filibuster (and could fall short of the 50 senators needed for a simple majority). Conceivably, no resolution may be passed by the Senate.

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