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John Kerry has managed to double his support for the cut-and-run amendment he offered to the defense authorization bill. He got 13 votes instead of six by extending the deadline for withdrawal from Iraq to July 2007 rather than the end of the year. Roll call to follow shortly ...
UPDATE 10:53 CT: Bill Nelson of Florida voted against the Levin resolution, crossing party lines. The so-called "cut and jog" appears headed to defeat as well. Ben Nelson of Nebraska also voted against it -- but of course, Linc Chafee (R-RI) voted to support it. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) also voted against it. So far all of the red-state Democrats appear to be coming out against it.
10:59 - Joe Lieberman voted against the Levin resolution. While that remains consistent with Lieberman's previous support for the war and the long-term strategy -- recall that he alone among his caucus acknowledged the progress made in Iraq, even before Zarqawi was killed -- it impresses me that he did not bend to help his primary challenge from the Left.
Levin's resolution failed 60-39. This should conclude the debate over the long-term strategy in Congress. Both houses have now spoken, and both houses have supported the White House strategy in Iraq.
11:09 - Ben Nelson of Nebraska, not Bob (fixed it above). Thanks to The Influence Peddler for the quick catch! The Defense Authorization Bill now faces a cloture vote. If debate ends on this bill, it should put an end to any further exploration of panicked retreat for the foreseeable future. Cloture appears to have a wide margin of support and should pass on a wide bipartisan basis.
11:17 - I missed this, but Michelle Malkin reference to Sideshow Bob Democrats seems most appropriate today. In a fortnight where we have disposed of the main terrorist in Iraq and rolled up a huge section of the networks that he led, this nervous effort to demand an end to our efforts in beating the terrorists in Southwest Asia rather than fighting them here seems almost comical.
I'm waiting for the roll calls to be posted at the Senate web site ...
11:22 - Cloture passes, 98-1. Want to guess who cast the only vote to continue debate? Russ Feingold.
12:07 - Roll calls are up for both votes now. On the Kerry amendment, the yeas were:
No real surprises there. Perhaps Leahy might come closest to an eyebrow raise, but this pretty much sums up the clueless caucus in the Senate.
Dayton's vote surprises me. Of all those who I thought would support a cut-and-run, his vote would have been near the top of my list. The rest, except Lieberman, all come from solid red states.Sphere It View blog reactions
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