Reid: Republicans Irresponsbiliy Blocking A Vote That Could Change Course In Iraq

Washington, D.C.—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following remarks today on the floor of the U.S. Senate:

“The American people deserve an up-or-down – yes or no – vote on this amendment.  A ‘no’ vote on Levin-Reed would be a vote to ‘stay the course’ – to continue the President’s failed strategy indefinitely.  A ‘yes’ vote would finally bind the President to responsibly reduce combat operations and return our focus to the real and growing threats we face.  That is why I once again request unanimous consent to move to an up-or-down vote on Levin-Reed, along with amendments that my Republican colleagues also wish to consider. 

[Unanimous consent blocked by Republicans]

“Once again, we have seen the Republican leadership resort to technical maneuvers to block progress on this crucial amendment.  It would be one thing for Republicans to vote against this amendment.  If they honestly believe that ‘stay the course’ is the right strategy – they have the right to vote ‘no.’

“But now, Republicans are using a filibuster to block us from even voting on an amendment that could bring the war to a responsible end.  They are protecting the President rather than protecting our troops.  They are denying us an up-or-down – yes or no – vote on the most important issue our country faces.

“We have no choice but to stay in session to continue speaking out on behalf of our troops and all Americans, to continue requesting consent for an up-or-down vote on our amendment to end the war.

“Our troops in Baghdad are eight hours ahead of us here on the East Coast.  As we begin our debate in earnest tonight, our troops will be waking up.  They will be waking up to the 1,582nd day of the Iraq war.  They will wake up to extreme heat in a foreign land, far from their families and facing constant danger.  We owe it to each of our men and women in Iraq to debate the war openly and honestly, and we owe it to all Americans to finally vote for the responsible end to the war that has been so long in coming.

“I hope that by the time this night is through, with the consent of our Republican colleagues, we will have done just that.”

###