Monday, January 22, 2007
Warner leads effort on second resolution criticizing Bush's Iraq plan
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. John Warner, the former GOP chairman and influential member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is set to introduce a second resolution Monday that expresses criticism of President Bush's call for a troop increase in Iraq, a move Bush Administration officials have scrambled to avoid.
The resolution -- also sponsored by Armed Services Committee members Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska -- tones down some of the language used in a resolution introduced earlier by Sens. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, Joe Biden, D-Delaware, and Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska, sources involved with crafting the resolution tell CNN.
Warner -- whose clout will likely influence several Republicans on the fence over Bush's Iraq plan -- has so far avoided saying whether he agrees or disagrees with the president's plan, but is said to have been working behind the scenes for some time to build support for a compromise.
A source familiar with a draft as of Friday said the word "escalation" in the first resolution -- a term coined by Democrats to describe the troop increase which Republicans consider too partisan -- has been replaced in the second resolution by "augmentation." The resolution will also express Warner's concern over sending troops into entrenched sectarian violence.
"The other resolution was a real thumb in the eye to the president, our goal is to make the same point but get 60-65 votes, not 51 or 52," said the source. It is unclear whether these senators will be able to find a colleague on the Foreign Relations Committee to introduce it there, or whether they will have to wait to try to offer it on the Senate floor.
Biden, the chairmen of the Foreign Relations Committee and a presidential candidate, has said he plans to consider changes to his resolution in the committee next week.
-- CNN Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash
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