From NBC's Ken Strickland
In a strong rebuff to the Bush Administration on Iraq, the Senate overwhelming approved a plan by Biden that essentially calls for breaking Iraq into three sections: Kurd, Sunni, and Shia. While the amendment is nonbinding, it's the first measure to pass, (vote was 75-23,) that goes against the administration's war strategy.
Biden's chief co-sponsor was Brownback. Fellow candidates Clinton and Dodd also supported the plan. Obama and McCain did not vote.
In a news conference after the vote, Biden said his plan is consistent with the Iraqi constitution which calls Iraq to be made up of "a decentralized capital, regions, and governorates, and local administrations." Biden says this plan illustrates how to "end this war in a way that we are able to ultimately to bring our troops home and leave a stable Iraq behind... [that] is consistent with the Iraqi constitution." He described it as "pushing on an open door."
The bipartisan measure also calls on the five permanent members of the United Nations and members of the international community to convene a conference to help the Iraqis set up the federal regions. "We all agree... it's time to make Iraq the world's problem, not just ours."
Republican Senator John Warner, instrumental and influential in almost all things related to Iraq, called the vote an "extraordinary moment because it marks the high-water mark of all the many debates and resolutions we've had in terms of bipartisanship."