Democrats lose procedural vote on Iraq resolution

Senate Republicans stood largely united Monday and dealt a loss to the Democratic majority on a procedural vote that would have opened the door to votes on resolutions on the Iraq war.Senate Republicans stood largely united Monday and dealt a loss to the Democratic majority on a procedural vote that would have opened the door to votes on resolutions on the Iraq war.
 
Only two Republicans, Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGun proposal picks up GOP support Giffords, Scalise highlight party differences on guns Agricultural trade demands investment in MAP and FMD MORE (Maine) and Norm Coleman (Minn.), crossed party lines.
 
Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGun proposal picks up GOP support Children’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE (R-Ky.) said the 49-47 vote, which fell short of the required 60-vote majority, was not about avoiding the issue.
 
"There is not a single Republican senator seeking to avoid this debate," he said prior to the vote. Instead, McConnell argued the vote was on ensuring that the process was fair.
 
The GOP majority is calling for votes on two of its own amendments, one from Sen. McCain (Ariz.) and the other from Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.), on Iraq.
 
The majority of Democrats, and several Republicans, support a resolution sponsored by Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) that rejects President Bush's plan to add more troops to Iraq.
 
But Senate Majority Harry ReidHarry ReidChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Republicans are headed for a disappointing end to their year in power Obama's HHS secretary could testify in Menendez trial MORE (D-Nev.) said Democrats had been trying to accommodate the GOP requests, pointing out that he would allow up and down votes on all three resolutions.
 
All of the resolutions would be non-binding, but some in the administration and Republicans in Congress have said passing the Warner measure would help the enemy and hurt morale of U.S. troops.
 
Sen. Carl LevinCarl LevinPresident Trump, listen to candidate Trump and keep Volcker Rule Republicans can learn from John McCain’s heroism Trump and GOP wise to keep tax reform and infrastructure separate MORE (D-Mich.) strongly rejected that assertion, saying, "Congressional debate over Iraq policy doesn't embolden the enemy."
 
Instead, Levin said, the enemy is emboldened by the ongoing presence of a large U.S. force in an Islamic country and by the lack of a plan on what would happen following the invasion.
 
Even strong GOP supporters of the Warner resolution, including Sen. Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelThe Hill's 12:30 Report The Hill's 12:30 Report Billionaires stopping climate change action have a hold on Trump, GOP MORE (R-Neb.) and Warner himself, voted against the motion to proceed.
 
Hagel said he is confident that McConnell and Reid will work out a compromise that will allow votes on the resolutions.
 
Reid vowed to bring up the issue again, possibly in the form of amendments to a continuing resolution or the supplemental spending bill that will fund the war in Iraq.