NY Times: GOP senator to join Democrats on anti-surge resolution
Tuesday January 16, 2007
A GOP lawmaker at odds with the Bush administration over policy in Iraq will team with Democrats on upcoming legislation opposing the troop "surge," The New York Times will report tomorrow.
"Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, an outspoken Republican critic of the administration's Iraq policy, will join two leading Democrats in introducing a resolution opposing President Bush's buildup of troops in Iraq," write Carl Hulse and Jim Rutenberg for the Times, "putting a bipartisan stamp on the looming congressional showdown over the war."
The article reports that "Hagel had been consulting for the past few days" with the Democrats, Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), "to develop the wording of the resolution, which could be introduced as early as Wednesday."
Hulse and Rutenberg write that Hagel asserts he is not seeking to "bash the president" or "call for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq," but rather intends the resolution to be "a responsible way for members of the Senate to register their opinion on the increase of more than 20,000 additional troops announced by Bush last week."
Excerpts from the registration-restricted article follow...
While Senate opponents of the buildup were preparing to move forward, Senate Republicans backing the president were trying to map their own strategy, considering proposals that could appeal to Republicans frustrated with events in Iraq but keep them from supporting the most critical resolution.
At the White House, officials were continuing to discuss the new plan with members of Congress, with a special emphasis on lining up Republicans behind Bush's approach. "We knew this was not going to be an easy policy to explain or one that was going to be met with open arms," said one White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
This official said that the message to congressional Republicans was similar to the one the White House spokesman, Tony Snow, conveyed on Tuesday at his press briefing: that approval of any resolution critical of Bush's approach, even if nonbinding, would send a damaging message.
"In an age of instant and global communication, what message does it send to the people who are fighting democracy in Iraq?" asked Snow. "And, also, what message does it send to the troops?"
LINK TO THE FULL REGISTRATION-RESTRICTED NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE.