US Senate to debate Iraq withdrawal

Democrats proposal to be discussed, but Republicans continue to oppose the plan.

    The bill is not expected to clear the Senate where it needs at least 60 votes to pass [GALLO/GETTY]
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    Joseph Biden, a Democratic senator, said Republicans were trying to protect George Bush, the US president, and his "god-awful policy".
    "It's about time we had courage to stand up and say to the president, mister president, you have not only put us in harm's way, you have harmed us," Biden said.
    The Democrats' proposal sets a goal of pulling out all combat troops by March, 2008, with the US beginning to withdraw its troops from Iraq within four months of the proposal's passage.
    But the bill is expected to ultimately fall short of the 60 votes it will need to pass.
    A similar plan has also been proposed by Democrats in the House of Representatives who want to attach it to a spending bill.
    Regardless of the result, the debate over the bill would give Democrats a chance to paint the Republicans as opposing a timetable on withdrawal at a time when most American voters oppose the war.
    "This is the message the American people delivered to Congress on November 7, 2006, and this is the message we must send to President Bush," said Harry Reid, the senate majority leader, referring to the election day when Democrats won majorities in both chambers.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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