Reid said Thursday Republicans "want to protect the president more than they want to protect our troops."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday that Democrats are disappointed that they have been unable to force President Bush to change course in Iraq, but vowed to keep pushing with or without Republican help.
GOP senators have successfully filibustered every Democratic-led push to bring troops home from Iraq, using a procedural vote Wednesday to kill a proposal that would have required the Pentagon to give troops returning from Iraq stateside time equal to their time in the combat zone.
Though six Republicans joined Democrats in voting for the plan, the final vote was four short of the 60 needed to break a filibuster.
"They want to protect the president more than they want to protect our troops," said Reid, D-Nev.
And by a wide margin Thursday, senators killed a proposal by Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold to cut off money for the war. The vote was 70-28.
Democrats say the November elections that brought them to power were a mandate to wind down the 4-year-old war, now widely unpopular as the U.S. death toll nears 3,800. Reid said his caucus has a sense of disappointment and frustration over the troop deployment vote, but he insisted he would not support measures that did nothing to bring the conflict to an end.
"The majority of Congress wants to change the course of Iraq," he said. "This isn't a time to sit down and pat each other on the back and say, 'We worked something out that is bipartisan. The only thing I'm going to agree on that is bipartisan is something that does something."
Reid bristled at a question about whether Democrats are doing enough to find compromise with Republicans, saying "I even called Larry Craig" to ask for his support on Wednesday's vote.
"I bent over backwards," he said. "I went to Republican senators' offices. I called them once, twice, three times."
Craig, R-Idaho, has announced plans to resign from the Senate at the end of the month after pleading guilty to a disorderly conduct charge stemming from his arrest in a Minneapolis airport bathroom sex sting. But he has called his guilty plea a mistake, and is seeking to withdraw it.
All 49 Democrats and one independent who caucuses with them - Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont - supported Wednesday's measure. The chamber's other independent, Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman - who also caucuses with Democrats - voted with Republicans on the measure.
Reid said Democrats remain united and will continue trying to hang responsibility for the war on the GOP.
"It is very clear to the American people who supports President Bush's war," he said. "It appears that this is not only President Bush's war, it is the Republican senators' war."
The Senate did succeed in approving a resolution condemning a controversial newspaper ad by anti-war activist group MoveOn.org, which accused the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, of "cooking the books for the White House" in his testimony to Congress last week. The vote was 72-25.
"This amendment gives our colleagues a chance to distance themselves from these despicable tactics, distance themselves from the notion that some group literally has them on a leash, like a puppet on a string," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Even then, Republicans managed to filibuster a Democratic proposal that also condemned GOP attacks on former Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia and Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts during his 2004 presidential campaign.
"It's time to take a stand, not to dredge up political matters of the past but to condemn this ad," McConnell said.
- CNN Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash