From NBC's Ken Strickland
The original non-binding resolution opposing President Bush's new Iraq strategy -- crafted by Senator's Biden, Hagel, Levin, and passed by the Foreign Relations Committee -- is now essentially off the table. Today, all three original sponsors have thrown their support behind a revised, less controversial resolution offered last night by Republican Sen. John Warner.
This melds the two bipartisan camps opposing the troop increase into one, thereby increasing the likelihood that the resolution will have majority bipartisan support when it comes to a vote. But it's still unclear if it can drawn the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster from White House republicans (and Joe Lieberman.)
On the Senate floor this morning, Biden says the "bottom line" of the two measures was the same: don't put US troops in the middle of a civil war. And he left open the possibility of stronger action later. "If the president does not listen to a majority of Congress... we'll have to look to other ways to change his policy."
Republican co-sponsors are Warner, Collins, Smith, Coleman, Hagel, and Snowe. But not all Democrats may support the measure, especially those on the far left who've called for stronger binding bills. Sen. Russ Feingold, who wants troops redeployed in six months, called the measure "weak." "The resolution rejects redeploying U.S. troops and supports moving a misguided military strategy from one part of Iraq to another," he said in a written statement.
The debate is expected to start Monday; however, the terms of the debate have not yet been set.