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Monday, February 12, 2007
Reid blocks Warner's effort to vote on Iraq issue this week
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will block an effort by Virginia Republican John Warner to get his Iraq resolution condemning a troop increase in Iraq attached to an upcoming spending bill, an aide to Reid tells CNN.

Warner, hoping to force a debate on the resolution this week, had hoped to attach the measure to a giant catch-all spending bill the Senate is trying to complete this week.

But Reid will not clear a number of procedural obstacles that would be required to get the resolution debated on the floor this week for fear the spending bill could get mired in a fight over Iraq and lead to a government shutdown -- something Democrats would prefer not happen on their watch, Reid spokesman Jim Manley tells CNN.

Reid has already said he expects to debate Sen. Warner's resolution when the Senate returns from recess Feb. 26th and considers a bill implementing the 9-11 Commission's recommendations.

Meanwhile, Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, one of the Republicans backing the Warner bill, gave an impassioned speech expressing frustrations that the Senate has been unable to act quickly on this resolution.

"Now I know some say it's a non-binding resolution that won't have any impact," Snowe said. "Well, I dare say, if it doesn't have any impact than why is it were not here voting? What has greater resonance in America? Is it silence? Or is it taking action on the most consequential issue of our time," she asked?

"I'm afraid we're taking a political u-turn away from the last election," she said adding she doesn't blame voters for their "deep-seeded frustrations" over "too much partisanship and too much polarization" in Washington.

-- CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett
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