Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement this morning on the floor of the U.S. Senate regarding Sen. Levin’s withdrawal of his amendment to change course in Iraq:
Senator Levin introduced an amendment that I and many others believed was a sincere effort to bridge the differences between the White House and the bipartisan majority here in Congress who demanded that we change course in Iraq. In an effort to address the President’s concerns about a redeployment timeline, the Levin amendment provided the President the authority to waive that timeline. Unfortunately, the Administration has indicated that they are prepared to veto even this proposal.
While I continue to believe this is a reasonable approach that should be considered in the upcoming negotiations, Senator Levin has withdrawn his amendment in the interest of trying to move as quickly as possible to a solution that gets our troops the funds they need. Regardless of the outcome of today’s votes, I want everyone listening to know that if my Republican friends choose to stick with a failed policy, congressional Democrats will take this fight up again at the first available opportunity. Our troops and their families deserve no less.
Senate Democrats are committed to changing course in Iraq and will work in conference to produce a bill that fully funds our troops and changes course in Iraq. We hope the President and Congressional Republicans will negotiate in good faith so that we can provide our troops the funding they need and an effective strategy by next week.