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Monday, February 05, 2007
Republicans stymie measure opposing Bush Iraq plan over procedural flap
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Senate Republicans put up a unified front Monday, successfully using a procedural maneuver to keep Democratic leaders from moving forward with a non-binding resolution opposing President Bush's plan to increase troop levels in Iraq because of a tactical dispute over how the measure should be handled.

A motion to proceed with the debate and vote on a bipartisan compromise measure, crafted by Sens. John Warner, R-Va., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., failed on a largely party-line vote of 49-47. Under Senate rules, it needed 60 votes to pass.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has been insisting that in addition to the Levin-Warner measure, senators should also be allowed to consider two Republican alternatives, and that the process be conducted with procedures requiring 60 votes for any of the resolutions to pass.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has refused to accede to the GOP demands, and negotiations over the weekend failed to break the impasse. Monday, Reid accused the Republicans of trying to "stamp out debate" on Bush's Iraq policy. McConnell responded that Republicans were "ready for this debate," but that they were objecting to ensure the "fairness" of the process.
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