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Top GOP senator 'will filibuster' any Democratic attempt to decrease funding for Bush's new Iraq plan

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Published: Thursday January 11, 2007
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A top GOP senator said that he "will filibuster" any Democratic attempt to decrease funding for President Bush's new Iraq plan, the Associated Press reports.

"At a news conference, McConnell accused Democrats of secretly favoring a plan to cut off funding for the troops - an allegation that Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. denied," AP reports.

"The fundamental decision to stay on offence and to finish the job, I think is correct, and we believe the president is heading in the right direction and tend to support him," Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell said before Bush's speech last night.

McConnell also talked to some right-leaning bloggers earlier this morning to earn their support for his potential filibuster, telling them on a conference call with other journalists that he expects Independent Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman to also join in with the Republicans.

"Senate Minority Leader McConnell held a call with a few bloggers and journalists this morning," according to the Power Line blog. "He supports the president's plan for a surge, which he views as 'courageous and correct.'"

"McConnell said he was 'hopeful' of keeping enough Republicans to muster the 40 votes needed to block a resolution (which in any case would be non-binding)," Paul Mirengoff blogs at Power Line. "McConnell added that he looks forward to the support of Sen. Lieberman. However, he could not say that any other Democrats will join the Connecticut Senator."

Excerpts from AP article:

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President Bush's decision to deploy more than 20,000 additional troops to Iraq drew fierce opposition Thursday from congressional Democrats, but the Senate's top Republican threatened a filibuster to block any legislation expressing disapproval of the plan.

"Obviously, it will ... require 60 votes," said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as senior administration officials made the case for Bush's new policy in Congress, at news briefings and the morning television programs.

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McConnell conceded that Republicans as well as Democrats are troubled by Bush's new policy, but said, "Congress is completely incapable of dictating the tactics of the war."

Reid has said he will schedule a vote on a nonbinding bill expressing disapproval of Bush's new policy, but McConnell's filibuster threat indicated that he would not be rushed into the vote. Under the Senate's rules, 60 votes are required to cut off debate on an issue, and even the threat of a filibuster can force concessions by the majority.

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FULL AP ARTICLE AT THIS LINK