Senators Air Their Ideas on the Plan for Iraq

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Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), a candidate for president, is calling for prohibiting increasing troop levels in Iraq without congressional approval. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), a potential presidential candidate, is offering a resolution opposing "escalation" of the war. And Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is talking about her recent trip to Iraq.

Some of the most senior members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unveiled a resolution Wednesday that is bound to set off an enormous showdown on the Senate floor over who knows best for America's strategy in Iraq.

The resolution states, "It is not in the national interest of the United States to deepen its military involvement in Iraq, particularly by escalating U.s. troop presence in Iraq." It's a direct rebuke of President Bush's plan to send another 21,500 troops to Iraq.

While most Senate Democrats and some Republicans are expected to endorse the resolution, some say it doesn't go far enough.

But Arizona Republican John McCain, himself a top presidential contender who supports President Bush's Iraq plan, dismissed both the resolution and the proposals to cap the number of troops. McCain's support for the troop build-up in Iraq is drawing fire from anti-war activists.

But for all the criticism, some Senate Republicans say they'll fight back with a resolution that backs President Bush's troop increase. The debate could begin next week.



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