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 CollinsGOP hasn’t reached out to centrist Dem senators McConnell: GOP not in 'same place' on ObamaCare strategy Senate GOP to huddle Wednesday on ObamaCare repeal strategy MORE (Maine) and Norm Coleman (Minn.), crossed party lines.
 
Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSchumer to Trump: Get your own 'act together' before blaming Dems GOP hasn’t reached out to centrist Dem senators Schumer: Trump's speech 'detached' from reality 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 ReidWill Republicans increase red tape in the healthcare industry? Sanders and Schumer are right: Ellison for DNC chair The Hill's 12:30 Report 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 LevinA package proposal for repatriation Silencing of Warren another example of hyperpartisan Senate GOP going nuclear over Gorsuch might destroy filibuster forever 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 HagelChuck HagelWho will temper Trump after he takes office? Hagel: I’m ‘encouraged’ by Trump’s Russia outreach Want to 'drain the swamp'? Implement regular order 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.