The count is in on the procedural measure that would have allowed the Senate to move forward on the non-binding resolution voicing disapproval of President Bush's planned surge. Again, in a deja ju of last week, the Democrats failed to get the 60 votes needed to bring cloture, allowing the Republicans to again block a vote on what could pose an embarassing dilemma for their party, particularly those Senators facing re-election in 2008.
The final count was 56-34, with seven Republicans breaking ranks with their leadership, as compared to only two--Senators Coleman (MN) and Collins (ME)--in the vote last week. Today, five more broke ranks with Minority Whip Mitch McConnell (KY), Chuck Hagel (NE), Arlin Specter (PA), John Warner (VA), Olympia Snowe (ME), and Gordon Smith (OR).
Introduced by Armed Services Committee chair Ike Skelton (D-MO), Foriegn Affairs committee chair Tom Lantos (D-CA), and Walter Jones (R-NC), the resolution they would have voted on if the Dems had succeeded is a tightly-worded comdemnation of the Presdident, with lip service paid to support for the troops.
1) Congress and the American people will continue to support and protect the members of the United States Armed Forces who are serving or who have served bravely and honorably in Iraq; and
(2) Congress disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.
The House passed the measure on Friday, with 246 voting for it and 182 opposing it.
Harry Reid, speaking at a news conference after the Senate voted to adjourn for a one-week recess, said that the Dems intend to re-group over the break and will continue debating Iraq after they return.