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Reid to Force an Up-or-Down Vote on Iraq

May 14, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, NV) announced on the Senate floor today that he is going to try to bring Russ Feingold’s (D, WI) bill “to safely redeploy United States troops from Iraq” to a vote tomorrow. I say “try” because Republicans will almost certainly attempt to filibuster this vote which would force all senators to put themselves on record for or against ending the war in Iraq. The bill, which Reid is co-sponsoring, would require that troop withdrawal begins no later than 120 days after its enactment and that after March 31, 2008, no appropriated funds may be used to deploy U.S. troops.

TPM talked to a senate staffer about this new development:

>This is a big deal for war opponents — it’s the first vote in the Senate on a measure of this kind. “This is a vote that folks have been clamoring for for some time now,” enthuses a staffer who works for a Senator favoring the approach.
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>The staffer added that while the measure faces an uphill struggle, a vote on it will move the parameters of the debate and force Senators into a straight up-or-down vote on the war — just as last week’s House vote on Dem Rep. James McGovern’s proposal to end the war did.
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>The staffer claims that the Senate leadership was going back and forth all weekend on whether to allow this vote. “I think there are probably some people who would prefer not to see a vote on this,” the staffer says. “It forces people to take a stand.”

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