July 17th, 2007
10:22 AM ET
3 years ago

Dems plan Senate all-nighter

Watch Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin tell CNN’s John Roberts why the Dems are planning the all-nighter.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Recognizing they almost certainly won’t have the votes to pass an amendment to bring U.S. combat troops out of Iraq; Senate Democrats will employ a bit of political theater this week to at least draw attention to their efforts to overcome a Republicans filibuster of the measure.

Ahead of a vote Wednesday to cut off the filibuster, Democrats who control the Senate will keep the chamber open overnight Tuesday into Wednesday to highlight debate the amendment.

“They’re protecting the president instead of protecting the troops,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid complained about the filibuster.

Workmen will set up cots near the Senate floor so senators have a place to slumber – although it’s not clear how many senators will chose to stay up for the rare session much less use the cots.

Democratic senators also will be encouraged to schedule radio, television, and blogoshpere interviews in a "war room" strategy usually scripted for major legislative battles in which the outcome is in doubt.

In this case, Democrats know they will fall short of the required 60 votes to end the filibuster.

Only three Republicans - Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Olympia Snowe of Maine, and Gordon Smith of Oregon – have said they will vote with the Democrats. A fourth Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, says she’s considering it. And while most Democrats support the measure, known as Reed-Levin for its authors, Sens. Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Carl Levin of Michigan, Democrats acknowledge going into the debate their effort will fail.

– CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett


Filed under: Harry Reid • Iraq
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. mm, philly, pa

    just another way the dems are playing politics with the troops lives. lets give them what they need to finish this. rather then kepe voting against them. Were making progress in iraq but we would make the progress much faster if the country stood united against terrorism. then only reason they keep going (the terrorists) is because the are gaining support. If the country said no matter what we are going to continue this battle till we win and we did it as a whole then the terrorists would lose steam and give up and this whole thing would end. But as long as there are cowards out there trying to pull the troops out before the job is done we can't win.

    July 17, 2007 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. John, Austin, Texas

    I find it hard to beleive that so many people fail to see the repercussions of pulling out of an unstable situation like the one in Iraq. Yes, we started the war, and yes, there seems to be no evidence, now, of WMDs, but to simply hand the destabilized country over with a handshake and a "Good Luck!" would be extremely irresponsible. Not only would it allow sectarian violence to completely rule the day, it would also give the enemies of America the impression that we do not start what we finish, and will back down when things get too tough. This would invite more attacks against us on our own soil, and lose us the confidence of any other nation with whom we are allied. I keep hearing that it is the "will of the people" to pull out of Iraq, which is fine, but we must keep in mind that the average person does not have all the available intelligence, nor do they consider the far reaching consequences of the actions they request.

    July 17, 2007 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  3. Edson Blanchard, Kingsport, TN

    People seem to forget that Sadam Had a chasnce to avoid the wat and he chose not to. All he had to do was show that he had no weapons of mass destruction.

    July 17, 2007 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  4. mgm, philly, pa

    by the way before you all keep screaming about "obama voted against the war" you should note that obama wasn't part of congress when the vote went up. He wasn't in congress till 2004 so it's very easy for him to say "I didn't vote for the war" because he wasn't ther eint he first place.

    July 17, 2007 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  5. Jen, Wilm., DE

    Glenn, B'ham, al:

    Obama did not vote against the war – he wasn't in the Senate yet. He made a speech against it, but that's a lot different from voting.

    July 17, 2007 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. RI, Lubbock, TX

    The congress that voted for the war was voted out by the American public. They voted in a new congress to stop the war. That is exactly what the Dems are doing. If the Rep. leftovers act like their heads are stuck in the ground, they will be voted out in the next election.

    July 17, 2007 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  7. Chris, Schaumburg, IL

    Above, Glenn said: "No wonder that only 23% support this congress. At 32% approval rating Bush is the most popular elected official in Washington."

    I didn't know Congress was an "official."

    Reality check - if you look at the approval ratings for each district's representative, they all come back positive. Only collectively do the results show such a low number.

    It's easy to see why. Republicans aren't happy that Democrats took away their control of Congress; Democrats are tired of the Republicans being obstructionist ludites; Independents are sick of Congress [fill in the blank]. Meanwhile, troop are dying, America is the only industrialize country to NOT have health care, and the level of employment is way, way down. It's no wonder the approval ratings are in the toilet.

    July 17, 2007 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  8. Fletcher, Cleveland, OH

    Whan all these GOP Senators come out against our course in Iraq it is important that the American people know that they don't really mean it!

    It's not like these GOP Senators have taken a bunch of smart pills and finally realized that the whole Iraq war is the biggest military disaster in our history. If that was the case this bill would pass no problem.

    When this war ends they want to make sure that it is obvious to the American public that they ended the war (not thh Democrats). Not because they believe it's the right thing to do, but because it's the only way they can ever win an election again. Playing politics with the lives of our troops is nothing new for the GOP though.

    July 17, 2007 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. ReadBtwthlins

    Terrorist all over the world are cheering this pitiful Congress' continued attempts to muzzle freedom and the people fighting for it.

    July 17, 2007 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  10. Jim, Port Neches, Texas

    After all the backdoor tactics used by this administration, it is refreshing to see that the Democrats will fight fire with fire.

    July 17, 2007 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. Bob

    Another laugher on the hill. For so many years now, America really has been the laughing stock of the World and it has nothing to do with the President, Ron, the Georges or Bill!

    This falls short of even being symbolic. How many of these Senators will actually even be present at any given time during this "All-Nighter"

    It's time to get in the game boys and girls. You want to bring the troops home!? Close your mouths, untie their hands, and let them finish their mission giving them unconditional support.

    July 17, 2007 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  12. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    Glenn, you say there is no proof. Perhaps we could have better insight into the inner workings of the administration if they hadn't stonewalled EVERY SINGLE investigation into allegations of wrong doing. Anytime Crongress tries to peek inside the bubble that surrounds this admin. Bush cries "executive privilege!!" and it gets put on the back burner.

    As for the filibuster – BRAVO Sen. Reid! If the Republicans want to obstruct passage of legislation that is in line with what the American People want, let them filibuster the hard way so people can know exactly what it is that Republicans are holding up in congress...like the bill that would have given our troops more rest time at home between re-deployments. Let America see how the Republicans work in Bush's best interest, not the American people's!

    July 17, 2007 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. Mischka, Boca Raton, Florida

    Yes, let’s focus on the “they lied diatribe...”, when even former President Clinton himself came out and said he believed there were WDMs in the Iraq based on the intelligence he had while in office. Let’s rehash history because and because that is all you have to complain about. The sad truth is Congress did give the President the authority to go to war based on the same faulty intelligence that was available during the Clinton presidency, to the British, the Russians and the Germans. So cut the crap about “they lied...”

    Noah, I would love to see the facts on that “British Intelligence Agency report” supporting your “they lied...” theory. Please provide that evidence. If u made that up, now who is the liar?!

    July 17, 2007 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  14. amy bruinsma,wayland,michigan

    i want to know if the cots they have to sleep on are like the ones are wonderful soldeirs sleep on??probly not, only the best for the over paid, blow hards

    July 17, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  15. Luis, Miami Florida

    Yes Glenn,
    But as you remember the lies provided by the administration is what got congress on board. You may try to blame the Democrats and me if you like, but at the end it's a Bush war under false pretenses and by default your war sir. YES this war belongs to people that put this man in the Whitehouse and keep supporting him along with his moronic policies. The blood is in his hands and all his cronies including you sir… the blood of our soldiers, the innocent children and everybody in harms way. How can you sleep at night? WAKE UP MAN!!!

    July 17, 2007 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  16. James Atlanta GA

    For all those who keep saying this is Bush's war and that he lied to you, I say, "Quit lying to yourselves!" There is no evidence that Bush or anyone else doctored the evidence presented leading up to the war. It was documented from not only US sources, but also from British, French, and German intelligence agencies. If you haven't paid attention, two of those countries actually opposed us going into Iraq. Yet, the evidence was the same. If any lies have been told, the President, the Vice President, and all the members of the National Security Council would have been impeached by now. We would also need to hold accountable the UN, the Atomic Energy Commission, the Commission on Biological Weapons, President Clinton (he initiated the call for regime change), and the heads of every major intelligence agency in this country. The Iraq war was a monumental mistake, but it was mistake made by all. (If you remember, people may have challenged the reasoning behind going to war, but no challenged that Iraq did not have some form of WMD.) To try and vilify one individual as the devil who started it or lied about it is so off base that it simply ignores reality. Stop using the Iraq war as a means of attacking Bush, and let’s get behind our troops so this blunder does not cost both American and Iraqi lives and interests for generations to come. Political pageantry and allowing politics to cloud what is right for the security of this country would also be a monumental mistake, which may, in the long run, result in the sacrifice of even more American lives than this tragic war.

    July 17, 2007 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  17. Andy, Albany New York

    Blame who ever you would like to blame, the fact remains that there is a very crucial war going on right now. Every time I think about the war in Iraq, it saddens me because I wish it had never started. However, the war is a reality. Anyone who believes a U.S. pullout would solve our problems now is thinking purely in the short term. That is the nature of public opinion- short sighted and emotional. Unfortunately we expect instant gratification, and the majority of us do not have the patients or the stomach to see this war through to the end. All I suggest is that we examine the consequences of failure in Iraq. Think globally.

    July 17, 2007 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  18. Luis, Miami Florida

    oh by the way... The Republicans held not only the Whitehouse but the senate and the house when the war was authorized.... I see Mr. Glenn you have selective memory... must be a republican trade.

    July 17, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  19. Mischka, Boca Raton, FL

    One more thing...
    I do hold Congress responsible for this war as equally as the President. Here is why.

    The truth is that the CIA intelligence report was given to every member of Congress before the vote to authorize the President to go to war in Iraq. It was NEVER READ by the majority of Congress. Yes even Hilary admitted to not reading it. The media won’t report that. Google that tid bit of fact. That intelligence report stated that there was a remote possibility that there may NOT be any WMDs in Iraq to date!! So to play devil’s advocate and say, the President lied, but complicit with that is that Congress did not do it’s job in making sure that the President’s case to go to war, was valid. Meaning read the reports.

    The low approval rating IS mostly directed at the Dems because they are the majority. They promised to bring home the troops if they got power of Congress and they did not do it!! The Immigration debacle was another factor, I could go on and on. The fact is, they are not doing the job they promised the American people. Plain and simple. It is not because “Republicans are blocking good legislature”.

    Now can we just move forward, and try to leave Iraq in a stable condition? For me it is just riduculous to keep rehashing how we ended up there in the first place. The productive thing would be to give the troop surge a chance. But I believe the Dems don’t want to do that for fear it just might work. After all if the troop surge does work, there goes their power.

    July 17, 2007 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. John, Kansas City MO

    Staying up all night? Wow! Now that's what I call leadership. When you can't put your convictions into action, you are left to resort to "political theatre". Our troops deserve better. So do the 3,000+ Americans who lost their life on 9/11.

    July 17, 2007 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. Brad, Fenton MI

    "Recognizing they almost certainly won't have the votes to pass an amendment..."

    Please correct your report. They do have the votes to pass the amendment, but they do not have the votes to stop a procedural hurdle presented by the minority.

    July 17, 2007 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  22. Brendose, Oceanside, CA

    Let's get this straight. We are not in an "official" war with IRAQ. We are SUPPOSED to be in a war with terrorism remember? That was the deal Congress made. Congress also gave temporary powers to the President to act on the basis that IRAQ had weapons of mass destruction. REMEMBER??? You people have been so caught up with this puppet theater you call politics, you forgot the bigger picture. Bush promised us that he would fight Al Qaeda, capture Bin Laden, and fight terror worldwide. Instead, he abused his power of Congress to fight IRAQ (we STILL have not found any Weapons of Mass Destruction), and capture Sadaam Hussein (who threatened Bush's daddy). So, let's look at the results based on recent news: IRAQ is still a huge mess, and history will blame the White House AND Congress for being corrupt and irresponsible. As a smoke screen, the government is using scare tactics to keep the American people in constant fear. And look at Al Qaeda now, (remember, the ones Bush is supposed to go after?) they're at their strongest level since pre 9/11. So, really......what progress have we made after spending billions and billions of our taxpayer money???????

    It doesn't matter who we elect for office.......they are all pathetic, corrupt, liars stealing our tax money and shoveling crap down our throats as a daily diet. WAKE UP AMERICA!

    July 17, 2007 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  23. Bill, Columbus, OH

    Whoever said the Democrats don't want to end the war is spot on. That became apparent when they bowed to Bush like a bunch of lapdogs before Memorial Day.

    As each day passes and the number of casualties grows, it is inevitable that there is no "winning" this war – especially since the administration can't even define what "winning" is. I'd be surprised if anyone can even give a cohesive statement explaining what, exactly, the purpose of all of this is.

    This war is an utter embarrassment – and one so costly that it will haunt generations to come. No amount of "political theater" can save it.

    July 17, 2007 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  24. WH, Washington, DC

    The President and the Republican-controlled Congress started this war with Iraq based on false intelligence data. Democrats voted for a resolution to go to war after then inspectors finished their search for WMD. Bush couldn't wait though. If we had stayed the course in Afghanistan and hunted down Bin Laden and continued hunting for Al Qaeda, we wouldn't be in this predicament. The Taliban and Al Qaeda wouldn't be rebuilding in mass numbers like they are, they wouldn't be in Iraq, the world wouldn't be pissed off at us, we would have money and power to eliminate the evil doers. Too bad for us. Let them come here. I'm sure every American I know will be willing to kick butt like they were after 9/11. Don't forget, Congress represents the people, they can either fight for what we want or we'll eliminate them, too.

    July 17, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  25. Joe G. Glenwood, NJ

    You would hope that the Congress could make better use of the taxpayers time addressing concerns of the American People that they could impact. The President has the power to conduct the war, if the Dems want to cut off funding, then they should do it. THis theater is good for the Blogs and CNN, but is the reason for the low regard for the current Congress.

    July 17, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
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