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Thursday, January 18, 2007
Senators working on separate resolution opposing Bush Iraq troop plan
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine told CNN Thursday that she is working with colleagues on "both sides of the aisle" to come up with a resolution opposing President Bush's plan to increase troops numbers in Iraq -- after she and other Republicans objected to certain language in a resolution proposed by three other senators.

Collins and other Republicans opposed to the president's plan to send an additional 21,000 troops to Iraq objected Wednesday to language in a resolution sponsored by Sens. Joe Biden, D-Delaware, Carl Levin, D-Michigan, and Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska.

"What I'm trying to do is to work with a group of colleagues to produce a resolution that would put the Senate firmly on record as opposed to the president's plan, but would do so without taking on controversial or extraneous issues that are unrelated to Iraq," she said.

"The Biden resolution has a bottom line I agree with, but there is language I disagree with," she said.

The Biden-Levin-Hagel resolution mentioned challenges with North Korea and used the term "escalating" to describe the troop increase, two points Collins and others said they did not like.

Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Oregon, said the term "escalating" has become a partisan term used by Democrats. He told CNN that the use of that term "unnecessarily inflames the resolution."
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