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Week of 1.19.07

Taking Sides on More Troops in Iraq

A Senate resolution expressing opposition to President Bush's plan to send over 21,000 more troops to Iraq has received support from both Democrats and some Republicans.

The non-binding resolution, introduced by Republican Chuck Hagel along with Democrats Joseph Biden and Carl Levin on January 17, recommends that the military shift its mission in Iraq from major combat to Iraqi troop training, counterterrorism tactics, and cleaning the country of foreign fighters.

Biden said some upcoming changes to the bill might be used to "attract those who share our view but may not like our specific language." Republican Senators Gordon Smith and Susan Collins are among those who indicated they had issues with the resolution's language more so than its position. He added that a Foreign Relations Committee vote on the resolution is likely next week after President Bush's State of the Union address.

Other legislators have presented bills which, among other ideas, support President Bush's plan, require Congress to approve funding for any additional troops, recommend implementation of the Iraq Study Group recommendations, and call for a full U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

Below are some of the related positions and statements of key Senators.

"This resolution will give every senator a chance to say where he or she stands on the president's plan."
Democratic Sen. Joseph Biden

"I do not support cutting funding for American troops but I do support cutting funding for Iraqi forces if the Iraqi government does not meet set conditions,"
Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton

"The Biden resolution has a bottom line I agree with, but there is language I disagree with,"
Republican Sen. Susan Collins told CNN

"If my Democrat colleagues are truly opposed to the mission in Iraq, then as the new majority in Congress they should schedule a serious debate and a vote on cutting off funding for our troops."
Republican Sen. John Cornyn

"To feed more American troops into this bloodbath is wrong."
Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel

"It now falls on Congress to find a way to support our troops in the field while still preventing the president from multiplying his previous mistakes. That is why I not only favor capping the number U.S. troops in Iraq, but believe it's imperative that we begin the phased redeployment I called for two months ago."
Democratic Sen. Barak Obama

"This resolution is an expression of the American people's frustration with our current Iraq policy."
Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe