WASHINGTON – The Senate blocked legislation Thursday that would have cut off money for combat in Iraq by June. It was a predictable defeat for Democrats struggling to pass less divisive anti-war measures.
The 28-70 vote was 32 short of the 60 needed to cut off a GOP filibuster. The legislation, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Russ Feingold, was indicative of the Democratic leadership's new hardline strategy.
"Over and over, we have heard members of Congress saying we should wait until September before finally changing course in Iraq. Now, the president, and some members here in Congress, still want to keep a large number of our brave troops bogged down in Iraq indefinitely, while Al Qaeda continues to strengthen and regenerate itself in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. The American people are as determined as ever to end this disastrous war," Feingold, D-Wis., said before the vote.
Unable to attract enough Republican support on less contentious proposals, Reid has sought votes on strong anti-war measures intended to force a withdrawal of troops.