Senate Debating/Voting on the Iraq Withdrawal Bill Right Now

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Mar 27, 2007 6:01 PM
They just rejected an amendment, 50-48, that would have taken the timetable out of the bill.

Reid was just talking, and says they have cloture in the morning tomorrow, noting that there are more than 100 amendments to be dealt with.

The basics:

Senate Democrats struggled Tuesday to line up support for a non-binding timeline for a troop withdrawal from Iraq, confronting strong opposition from Republican lawmakers and a renewed veto threat from the Bush administration...

Similar legislation drew only 48 votes in the Senate earlier this month, but Democratic leaders hoped that changes made since then would be enough to persuade holdout Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mark Pryor of Arkansas to swing behind the proposal and ensure its survival.

Alternatively, they courted Republican Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a vocal critic of the war, hoping he would cast a decisive vote.

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., led the drive to scuttle the provision.

The Cochran amendment is the one that was just defeated. Red State reports on the Nelson cave-in-progress:

Senator Nelson is leaning towards caving on the Supplemental bill, arguing that because his benchmark language was included in the Supplemental bill, he’d vote for the Supplemental, including the surrender) language that he’d opposed just two weeks previously.   That’s an odd position to take, since the benchmark language was simply tossed on top of the bill without consequence or any affect whatsoever.   It’s purely there to provide cover for Nelson to sign onto the Moveon.org strategy.
 
Senator Pryor is still on the fence.
Meanwhile, you can browse the pork in the bill at Victory Caucus.

McConnell will not try to filibuster the bill, instead sending it straight to the veto pen.

"Our goal is to pass it quickly," said McConnell, R-Ky. "Our troops need the money."

Allah thinks McConnell's making Bush kill the thing to give himself some cover on the Nutroots front, where apparently he's a choice target for '08. Which makes sense, what with the parliamentary trouncing he's given to their hero, Harry Reid, lately.