Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke forcefully this afternoon on the Senate floor against the Lieberman-Kyl amendment. Durbin described the “sense of the Senate” legislation as a “dangerous effort to put us on the record for the use of military force in Iran.”
Noting that the language of the amendment suggests the use of “military instruments,” Durbin said:
What does that mean? Does that mean we are supporting the invasion of Iran? That we are supporting military tactics against Iran? Shouldn’t we be extra careful in the language of these resolutions when we find that the authorization for force for Iraq has dragged us into a war now in its fifth year, a war longer than World War II with bloody and deadly consequences for the United States and innocent Iraqis.
“I think it is dangerous language,” Durbin said, concluding his statement by saying he will oppose the amendment as it is currently written. Watch it:
Due to earlier concerns raised by Sen. Jim Webb, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced this afternoon that the language of the Lieberman-Kyl amendment was being modified. The Senate then released new language, but as Carah Ong notes, the modifications did little to ease fears:
The new language allows for the use of U.S. military instruments inside of Iraq for dealing with Iran, but it still does not contain a measure to prevent a conflict from spilling beyond Iraq’s borders.
Due to the still outstanding concerns raised over the amendment, Reid announced this evening on the Senate floor that Lieberman-Kyl bill “will not have a vote in the near future.” Reid added that negotiations are ongoing and “maybe the night will be bring more clearness to the issue. But right now I think it’s fair to say there will be no votes tonight.”