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Congress Continues Debate on Iraq Strategy

Lawmakers continued to assess their options on Tuesday for a response to the president's new Iraq strategy. NewsHour correspondent Kwame Holman reports on the war policy debate in Congress.

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    Debate over the Bush administration's Iraq policy spread across the Capitol today, as members of Congress, top military officials, and policy experts explored alternative approaches.

    At one Senate hearing, Republican Arlen Specter challenged the president to reconsider his plan to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq.

    SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (R), Pennsylvania: The president repeatedly makes reference to the fact that he is the "decider." I would suggest, suggest respectfully to the president that he is not the sole decider.


    At another hearing, the president's choice to head U.S. forces in the Middle East asserted the administration's proposed military build-up was just part of the solution.


    What we've been doing is not working. And we have got to be doing, it seems to me, something different.


    And at a third hearing, the chairman of the Iraq Study Group urged the president to include diplomatic talks with Iran and Syria along with his military plan.

  • LEE HAMILTON, Co-Chair, Iraq Study Group:

    Our policy of isolation is not working. We don't have a lot to lose, frankly.

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