Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Kennedy to call for Congressional approval of Iraq troop escalation
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A day before President Bush is set to lay out his vision for Iraq in a prime-time address, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, will introduce legislation that calls for Congressional approval of Bush's reported plan for an increase in Iraq troop levels.
Kennedy, a senior member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, will announce his call for the legislation -- which says no additional troops can be sent to Iraq and no funding for a troop increase can be allocated unless Congress approves the president's plan -- during a speech at the National Press Club Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. ET.
"Congress must have a genuine debate over the wisdom of the president's plan," Kennedy will say during the speech. "Let us hear the arguments for it and against it. Then let us vote on it in the light of day. Let the American people hear – yes or no – where their elected representatives stand on one of the greatest challenges of our time."
"Our history makes clear that a new escalation in our forces will not advance our national security," Kennedy will also say. "It will not move Iraq toward self-government, and it will needlessly endanger our troops by injecting more of them into the middle of a civil war."
While saying Kennedy's resolution "underscores the significant opposition on the Hill and with the American people to the president’s plan," a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, also noted "only one of several ideas about how to respond to the president’s proposal on Iraq."
-- CNN's Alexander Mooney and Dana Bash
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