In the Senate, test votes on Iraq

Force Bush's hand, leave him the choice or give him what he wants?

Published May 16, 2007 1:35PM (EDT)

The Senate will take a number of "test" cloture votes today on Iraq in connection with the passage of a domestic water-resources bill. The thinking? Give bring-'em-home Democrats the same shot at an up-or-down vote on ending the war that members of the House had last week; force Republican critics of the president's policies to show whether they're willing to do more than talk about them; and try to figure out where everyone stands along the way to striking some sort of compromise with the White House over continued funding for the war.

The measures -- or half-measures -- on the table today:

Feingold-Reid: Would require the president to begin redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq within 120 days of passage and cut off funding for the war on March 31, 2008. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama say they'll vote in favor of cloture on the measure; John Edwards has already called for the redeployment of U.S. troops to begin immediately and to be completed within a year.

Reed-Levin: Would require the redeployment of U.S. troops by March 31, 2008, but would also allow the president to waive the redeployment requirement.

The Warner amendment: The Associated Press says a "small group" of Republican senators is "coalescing" around a measure that would require troop deployments from Iraq if the Iraqi government calls for them. The measure would also cut off further economic aid to Iraq unless the president certifies that Iraq is making "satisfactory progress" on political and security reforms, but that provision would be subject to presidential waiver, too.

The Cochran amendment: The measure, introduced by Mississippi Republican Thad Cochran, would simply call on Congress to pass a war funding bill that the president is willing to sign.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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