Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today delivered the following remarks at a press conference, framing the current Senate debate on Iraq. After four years of a failed Bush policy in Iraq, the time has come for a new direction. Last November, the American people demanded a new direction at home and abroad. That is what today’s debate is about. Democrats have been pushing for this debate for months because we understand this is the most important issue facing the country. President Bush has signaled that his plan for Iraq is to commit our men and women to policing an open ended civil war. Democrats disagree and are unified behind holding the President accountable for a new direction in Iraq. And Senate Republicans? To this date they have offered no plan other than to endorse the President’s flawed policies. America cannot stay in Iraq forever. Iraqis must begin to take responsibility for their own future. We know there is no purely military solution in Iraq, and that American troops should not be policing a civil war. That’s why Democrats will fight to transition the mission and redeploy our troops. Senate Republicans – if they vote with the President – are endorsing committing our troops to an open ended civil war. They have isolated themselves, ignoring the will of their constituents and the American people. Protecting the President has been more important to them than working towards ending this conflict. Senate Republicans have a choice to make: At the end of this debate they will vote to either keep our troops mired in an open-ended civil war or they can vote with the American people in an effort to force President Bush to change course.