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Senators Continue to Mull New Course in Iraq

The Senate is debating key amendments on Iraq policy this week, focusing on troop withdrawal. The NewsHour reports on the highlights of the debate and how the chamber might proceed.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    That Senate showdown over pulling troops from Iraq, Ray Suarez has our story.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    If Senate Democrats want to change the course of the Iraq war through legislation, they're going to need more Republican support to do it.

    SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), California: Many of us have voted over and over and over again for a change.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    As senators plowed through the annual defense authorization bill, Republican leader Mitch McConnell is insisting on 60-vote majorities to approve any Iraq-related amendments. Senate rules allow him to do that.

    A test vote of sorts came today on an amendment requiring troops be given just as much time home between deployments as they spend overseas. Virginia Democrat Jim Webb, a Vietnam veteran, said the troops are near burn-out.

    SEN. JAMES WEBB (D), Virginia: We're saying, after four years of a ground occupation in Iraq, we have a responsibility to get some stability into the operational tempo.

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