Senate Rejects Iraq War Pull-Out Measure

The Senate has rejected a Democrat proposal to complete troop pullout from Iraq by March, 2008. The vote was 50 to 48.

The vote in the Senate was 50 against and 48 in favor, 12 short of what was needed to pass, with just a few defections in each party. It came just hours after the House Appropriations Committee, in another vote largely on party lines, approved an emergency spending bill for Iraq and Afghanistan that includes a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq. The House will vote on that legislation next Thursday, setting the stage for another confrontation.

The 48 votes were 12 short of the 60 needed for passage. A “yes” vote was a vote to support the measure. Voting “yes” were 46 Democrats, 1 Republican and 1 independent. Voting “no” were 2 Democrats, 1 independent and 47 Republicans. Two senators did not vote.

Because of the House Vote, the legislation will continue moving forward.


Democratic legislation to set timelines for the removal of troops from Iraq headed for a showdown on the House floor next week after the Appropriations Committee approved a $124 billion war funding bill yesterday that would end the U.S. role in the conflict by next year.

The committee's vote kept the controversial legislation moving forward, even as the Senate scuttled its own legislation to bring troops home. After weeks of parliamentary wrangling, Senate Democratic leaders fell three votes short on a resolution that would have restricted the use of troops in Iraq and set March 31, 2008, as a target date for removing U.S. forces from combat.

The Democrat defectors in the Senate: Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.) -- along with independent Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.).

The Republican who broke ranks was Gordon Smith (Ore.) Sen. John McCain was campaigning and missed the vote.

One Democrat who opposes the war voted against the House measure.

The 36 to 28 vote in the House committee was also largely along party lines, except for a no vote from Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), an ardent opponent of the Iraq war who wants troops out by the end of this year. Lee's vote was a bad omen for House Democratic leaders, who can ill afford defections next week when the war-spending measure reaches the floor.

As for what will happen next week:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) still lacks the 218 votes she needs to pass the bill next week, aides said, but they insist she has the momentum. Pelosi met with Jackson on Wednesday to appeal for his support. And major events Monday to mark the fourth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq could add pressure on lawmakers to find a way out of a conflict that has cost the United States nearly 3,200 lives and close to half a trillion dollars and has descended into what many military analysts now call a civil war.

And here's a curious note:

Democrats in the committee chose to emphasize items such as $900 million to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. Republicans spotlight less politically popular items, such as $25 million to bail out spinach farmers hurt by E. coli and $74 million for peanut storage.

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    We have it on record (none / 0) (#1)
    by Mreddieb on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 11:57:38 AM EST
    I can hear Dems sharpening their knives for the 08 eletions. Every Rethug has to answer to the voters for their vote AGAINST our Troops! Loyalty it's a Bit*h is't it.

    Looking for an explanation (none / 0) (#2)
    by LarryE on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 05:29:07 PM EST
    I'm wondering about the "needed 60 votes" bit. Was this actually a procedural vote about ending debate to proceed to a vote? Was the need for a "supermajority" part of the deal Reid made with the GOP to even have the debate?

    Can someone provide some clarification?