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‘Anti-Escalation’ Senators Vote For Escalation

By Payson Schwin  

"‘Anti-Escalation’ Senators Vote For Escalation"

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Last night, Senate conservatives successfully blocked debate on a bipartisan anti-escalation resolution.

At least eight senators who claim to oppose sending more U.S. troops to Iraq voted the wrong way, supporting the conservative filibuster. They include Sen. John Warner (R-VA) — who actually introduced the anti-escalation resolution in question — and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) — who has aggressively demanded that every U.S. senator take a position on Iraq.

Here’s a full list of the senators who voted to protect President Bush and block debate on Iraq, along with their public disapprovals of Bush’s escalation plan:

Sen. John Warner (R-VA): “Sen. John Warner (R-VA) will introduce a resolution today ‘making clear that he does not support the President on increasing the troop levels in Iraq’ and calling escalation ‘a mistake,’.”

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE): “It’s Alice in Wonderland. … I’m absolutely opposed to sending any more troops to Iraq. It is folly.” (Cosponsored Warner resolution.)

Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR): “This is the president’s Hail Mary pass. … We are extending an ineffective tactic to further the status quo.” (Cosponsored Warner resolution.)

Sen. John Sununu (R-NH): “Sen. John Sununu told CNN Tuesday he will not support President Bush’s plan to send an additional 21,000 U.S. troops to Iraq, although he hasn’t yet decided whether to back a Democratic resolution opposing the move.”

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME):We should not place more American servicemen and women in harm’s way to instill a peace that the Iraqis are not willing to seek for themselves.” (Cosponsored Warner resolution.)

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS):I do not believe that sending more troops to Iraq is the answer. … Iraq requires a political rather than a military solution.”

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA): “We’re all looking for a plan that will work. … The current plan is not working, and 21,500 additional troops — it’s a snowball in July. It’s not going to work.

Notably, Sens. Norm Coleman (R-MN) and Susan Collins (R-ME), who say they oppose escalation, resisted partisan pressure and voted against the conservative filibuster.

As for Sen. Hagel, who said recently, “We need to put the Congress on record here” — he is now “on record,” in support of Bush’s escalation.

UPDATE: Commenters have noticed that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is listed as having opposed debate on Iraq. In fact, Reid changed his vote to “no” at the end of the vote simply as a procedural move so he could later move to reconsider the motion (i.e., revote) — a right reserved only for those voting with the majority.

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