Senate Dems are pulling an all nighter with debate on the Iraq War. The cots were pulled hours ago as the Dems prepared to force the Republicans to a vote…
The WaPo reports that “Republicans were determined to block legislation forcing a withdrawal of combat troops, which was expected to come before bleary-eyed senators this morning in the nonstop session,” and they “dismissed the Democrats’ overnight effort as political theatrics and vowed to enforce a 60-vote threshold for passing the withdrawal proposal, which would bring most troop homes by May.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and his leadership team circulated sign-up sheets for speakers. Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), one of the front-runners for the 2008 Democratic nomination, was scheduled to take the floor between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m., just as the television networks’ morning news programs start their broadcasts. Senators were warned that votes could occur anytime throughout the night.
The first roundup of senators began at 8:30 p.m. for a procedural vote. Afterward, several Democrats left the Capitol for a candlelight vigil across the street with antiwar activists.
In a sign of the late-night weariness, a second procedural vote held at midnight drew 80 senators, some of whom had changed into more casual clothing. It officially drew a quorum, but 11 fewer senators showed up than had for the earlier vote.
Obama, who had been at a campaign event in Cincinnati earlier in the evening, made it back to the chamber for the midnight vote. Reid set another quorum-call vote for sometime after 5 a.m., with the penultimate vote on the amendment sponsored by Reid and Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) slated for 11 a.m. today.
Enough already with the Iraq War.
Bring the troops home.