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,” CNN’s Dana Bash reports. Warner’s resolution will be cosponsored by Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ben Nelson (D-NE).
Warner, the former Armed Services Committee chairman, is a “very influential voice when it comes to military matters,” Bash reports, and until this fall had been “whole-heartedly behind the president and the war.” His new resolution “certainly…is not going to sit well with the White House.” Watch it:
Warner said last week that Congress must move swiftly to address President Bush’s new strategy. “Each of us are pained by the casualties that we are taking. We cannot dither around on it.” Warner’s bill is viewed as a less confrontational alternative to the Iraq resolution backed by Sens. Joe Biden (D-DE), Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Carl Levin (D-MI).
DANA BASH: Well, today, we are going to hear from a very influential, a senior Republican, making clear that he does not support the president on increasing the troop levels in Iraq. That Republican is the senior senator from Virginia, the former Armed Services Chairman in the Senate, John Warner.
We are told that he is going to introduce a resolution late this afternoon along with at least one other Republican and a conservative Democrat, making clear that he believes that sending more U.S. troops into what he has called increasing sectarian violence is a mistake.
And that is a message, certainly that is not going to sit well with the White House because John Warner, as I said, is a very influential voice when it comes to military matters, especially the Iraq war. Until this fall, he had been whole-heartedly behind the president and the war. He’s somebody who has a lot of sway with his colleagues, Republicans and Democrats here on the Hill.