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Iraq Resolution Sidelined by Senate Vote

The United States Senate met for a rare weekend session Saturday to vote on taking up a House-passed resolution opposing a troop increase in Iraq. And, just as they did last week in a similar vote, Senate Republicans managed to block the resolution from consideration.

By calling for a vote on a day that was to be the beginning of a week-long recess, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) ruffled quite a few feathers. But more important for Reid was calling the bluff on Republicans who'd criticized him for wanting to adjourn without having an Iraq debate.

Most Republicans were clearly unhappy about having to change their plans to come back for the vote. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who strongly backs the president's troop increase in Iraq, called Saturday the low point of his senate career.


But seven Republicans voted for cloture on the Iraq resolution, as did all the Democrats voting. The resulting 56-34 outcome was four votes shy of the 60-vote super majority required to move ahead with the measure.

Republicans seem certain to maintain the numbers needed to keep the resolution from consideration.

But Sen. Reid noted that a clear majority of the Senate wanted to do what the House has done. The majority leader said he's through with the Iraq resolution voted on Saturday and that he will find other ways to oppose the president's Iraq policy.

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