July 17th, 2007
10:22 AM ET
11 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. Dan in Dallas

    This is political showboating at it's best, the senate cannot get anything done with proper rest why do they think they can pull an all nighter and get something done in 7 hours or so. I'll bet they all sleep in tomorrow when they should be at work, this is just insulting to me.

    July 17, 2007 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  2. Bill, Charleston SC

    Mike, HI

    You are absolutely right that millions of Americans think we should not be paying in lives and dollars to police Iraq. That fact is evident by the daily polls that are taken to further drive the point home. I stand by my statement that what the majority believes is not always the best course for this country.

    I may not be the smartest guy in the world, but even I can comprehend the disaster that would occur should we pull out of Iraq. The attitude of the nations of the world would be "look at those Americans, they never finish what they start, when things get tough, they tuck their tail between their legs and run." It would be years before our allies would trust us again. Right now they may not like us much, but one thing we do have from them is their respect. Maybe not publicly, because "America bashing" has become the popular thing to do, even for some Americans.

    I say we finish what we started. Maybe with a slight change of course. Loosen the rules of engagement. Untie the hands of our troops and let these great warriors do what we've trained them to do....fight. If we take the "let politics be damned" approach to fighting Al Qaeda then we could wipe them out. But you see, that's what it would take, for Americans to have the stomach for us to kill all of the Al Qaeda militants we encounter. Sadly, I believe that will never happen as our nation believes we can fight a "sanatized war" where no one dies. As long as that belief permeates our society, and our government, then our greatest battle is with ourselves.

    July 18, 2007 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  3. Joe Shepard, Spring Lake North Carolina

    These yahoos stay up all night talking, and accomplish nothing but insuring that some pizza delivery boy gets a good tip.
    Oh well, they haven't, and can't, accomplish anything else, so they might as well spend their time doing something–even if its wrong.

    July 18, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  4. Mischka, Boca Raton, FL

    Richard, Orlando said
    "Whatever happened to giving the Iraq Study Group recommendations a chance, considering it was released from a bipartisan commission before the surge?? Or is that going to be your Plan B (10-12 months later)? How many more soldiers will be killed or injured while you and the rest of the Republicans decide to make up their minds?

    No one is advocating a precipitous withdrawal. We absolutely cannot be as irresponsible getting out of Iraq as Bush was getting into it. Unfortunately, we will be involved in the Middle East security efforts for some time. Let’s just hope it is done with more intelligence than what we have seen these past six years."

    It seems that it is YOU that can't seem to make up your mind either. You advocate withdraw at first, then you don't advocate "precipitous withdrawal". Which is it? How many more soldiers will be killed or injured while YOU decide to make up your mind? The Dems want withdrawal before giving the troop surge a change. Are they afraid it might work?

    I don’t want a premature withdrawal, so lets give the surge a chance. We are there now, let’s move forward, find a way to stabilize and leave. So u and I are in agreement on your 2nd paragraph. I think...

    BTW: When the Dems use the same tactics of filibustering/blocking, it’s called Democracy. Dems say:“Our voices will be heard”. When Republicans do the same, it is called obstructionism. Gotta love it!!

    July 18, 2007 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. D Kelley Hershey Pa

    From watching the news, it appears there are maybe 6 or 8 congress persons who have an opinion about anything. What are the rest of them doing or thinking. It's time for some new faces and opinions.

    July 18, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. Ariana, Waialua, HI

    3 more US troops died during the course of the all-night session. How many more need to die before Congress and our esteemed president wake up??!

    July 18, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
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