Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and John Warner (R-VA) have reached agreement on a compromise bipartisan resolution opposing President Bush’s Iraq escalation policy. Levin and Warner had co-sponsored competing anti-escalation resolutions, both of which risked failing to garner enough votes to break a conservative filibuster.
CNN’s Dana Bash reported moments ago, “What is going on as we speak, behind the scenes, Wolf, is Democrats and Republicans who oppose sending more troops to Iraq are trying to figure out how to join forces, come up with one single resolution that can get them the 60 votes that they need in order to pass that resolution, making clear to the president they disagree with his plan.”
The Levin/Warner compromise is unexpected and very significant. Robert Novak reported Monday that Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) had tried and failed to reach agreement with Warner late last week.
This new deal is likely to foil right-wing efforts to prevent the Senate from passing a strong anti-escalation resolution. Conservative leaders “had hoped to divide Senate opinion largely along party lines, to allow Bush to argue that any outright statement opposing his plan was politically motivated partisanship,” the Washington Post reported today.
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