WASHINGTON – Sens. John McCain (search) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (search), who have often challenged the Pentagon's planning and management of the Iraq war, are part of a bipartisan group of senators traveling to Iraq this weekend to meet with military leaders and others, officials said Friday.
The five senators flying to Iraq are McCain, R-Ariz.; Clinton, D-N.Y.; Susan Collins (search), R-Maine; Lindsey Graham (search), R-S.C.; and Russ Feingold (search), D-Wis. All but Feingold are members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. They plan to meet top Iraqi officials and local female leaders.
In December, McCain said he had "no confidence" in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, but he added that keeping Rumsfeld in the position was President Bush's choice, not his.
After visiting Iraq in 2003, Clinton called for the administration to delay its timetable on transferring power to Iraq until there was more stability on the ground — a suggestion the White House rejected.
Iraq's electoral commission on Thursday certified the results of the country's Jan. 30 elections, giving a 140-seat majority in that country's new parliament to the clergy-backed United Iraqi Alliance.