News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) once again pushed for the Senate to pass a resolution opposing the President's surge in Iraq, but for the second time in two weeks Republicans blocked the resolution from even coming up for a vote.

In a rare Saturday session, the Senate voted on whether to move to consider S. 574 - closely modeled after House Concurrent Resolution 63 which passed the House 246-182 on Friday - which said Congress supports the troops but opposes the President's escalation. Because of Republican opposition, the cloture vote on the motion to proceed failed by a vote 56-34. A total of 60 votes were needed to move to consideration of the bill.

Two weeks ago, Senator Murray urged the Senate to go on record against the surge, but Republicans blocked that earlier debate as well. (See Murray's February 6th floor speech]

Senator Murray released the following statement:

"We need to change course in Iraq. Today, a strong bipartisan majority stood up in favor of debating a new direction in Iraq and voted against the President's escalation policy. Unfortunately, once again, Republicans blocked us from having the debate that the American people want. It seems like everyone knows we need to change direction in Iraq except the President and a majority of Senate Republicans.

"This resolution was simple: We support the troops, and we oppose the surge. Apparently, even that was too much for Republicans who would rather block debate than give our troops the new direction they deserve."