House Passes Iraq Resolution as Senate Readies for Saturday Vote

Posted February 16, 2007 at 2:48pm

The House passed a nonbinding resolution Friday afternoon opposing President Bush’s plan to increase troop levels in Iraq, as Senators were preparing for what is expected to be a brief but bitter Saturday session during which Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will attempt to bring the measure to the floor.

The resolution passed the House, 246-182, with 17 Republicans joining all but two Democrats in voting “aye.”

On the Senate side, although Democrats at press time appeared to have peeled off several Republicans — notably Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) — senior Democratic aides said Reid likely would fall just short of the 60 votes needed to end a GOP filibuster. One aide predicted Democrats would fall just three or four votes short of breaking the filibuster.

While Democratic aides said every member of their Caucus aside from Sen. Tim Johnson (S.D.) would attend the Saturday vote — despite the angry private protests of the crowd of 2008 presidential aspirants — several Republicans were expected to skip the vote. Sens. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), both announced today they would forgo the vote.

Outside organizations were gearing up for a last-minute push to pressure vulnerable Republican incumbents to break with their leaders and end the filibuster. MoveOn.org, VoteVets and Americans Against Escalation In Iraq were all planning phone banking, e-mail campaigns and “citizen lobbying” trips to Capitol Hill for today and Saturday morning targeting GOP moderates up for re-election in 2008.

One lawmaker who will not be present for Saturday’s vote is Senate GOP Conference Chairman Jon Kyl (Ariz.), who will be leaving before the roll call vote to lead an official visit to Iraq.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) also will be on the trip, as will a handful of House Members from both parties.

— John Stanton