Reuters
Senate stalled but House pledges to act on Iraq
Wed Feb 7, 2007 12:47
 

 
Senate stalled but House pledges to act on Iraq
Reuters - 1 hour ago
By Susan Cornwell. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lawmakers in the US House of Representatives on Tuesday set up a confrontation with President George W. Bush over ...

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By Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday set up a confrontation with President George W. Bush over Iraq, but the Senate was deadlocked on whether to pass judgment on the unpopular war.

House Democrats -- who had planned to let the Senate lead on the issue -- seized the initiative after a resolution opposing Bush's decision to send another 21,500 troops to Iraq stalled amid senators' bickering over how to debate the issue.

"The reason we're going ahead is not because we don't think the Senate will ever act, but we're not sure when the Senate is going to act," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, said.
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The House will debate and possibly vote on a resolution of disapproval next week.

"I think the (House) resolution will clearly say we do not believe that the president's proposal of an escalation of 21,000 troops is the proper policy to be pursuing," Hoyer said.

Unlike the Senate, the House does not have procedural hurdles that could stymie debate.

Bush, a Republican, has said he will not be swayed by nonbinding resolutions on the war. But Democrats are determined to challenge him on a matter they believe propelled them into the majority in Congress and which both parties say is the most important issue now facing Americans

In the Senate, exasperated Democrats lashed out at Republican tactics that prevented the chamber from considering a resolution repudiating Bush's troop boost.

"Their stalling is helping the president," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, told reporters.

Reid compared Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, who played a key role in shutting down Senate debate before it even began, to "somebody that comes into the basketball game not to score points, just to rough people up."

Republicans responded that they only sought fair treatment for their own proposals, including a vote on Gregg's resolution forbidding a cutoff of funding for U.S. troops abroad.
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Outside Congress, the liberal group MoveOn.Org piled on the pressure, saying it would air TV ads targeting Republican senators who voted against considering the Iraq resolution.

"When most Americans oppose the Bush escalation plan, and when a solid bipartisan majority of senators has agreed on a resolution expressing that opposition, it is outrageous that a handful of senators would stand in the way," said Tom Matzzie, Washington director of MoveOn.org Political Action.

(Additional reporting by Donna Smith and David Morgan)

Republicans block Senate debate on Iraq
Times of India, India - 16 hours ago
WASHINGTON: Republicans blocked a full-fledged Senate debate over Iraq on Monday, but Democrats vowed they would eventually find a way to force President ...

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