Senate Democrats

Democrats Demand Up-Or-Down Vote On Changing Course In Iraq

Senate will remain in session for two days to force Republicans to defend their obstruction of Levin-Reed amendment

Washington, DC— Senators Harry Reid, Dick Durbin and Charles Schumer today discussed Democrats’ efforts to change course in Iraq so that we may enhance America’s security and more effectively fight terrorism. The Leaders underscored the importance of the Levin-Reed Amendment to the Defense Authorization bill – which would transition the mission toward counterterrorism and training, reduce the U.S. combat presence, and launching a comprehensive diplomatic effort in the region – and urged Republicans to allow an up-or-down vote on the amendment.

As Republicans signal they will block votes on the Levin-Reed amendment despite the fact that a majority of Congress, a vast majority of the American people and many military experts are calling for a change of course, Democrats will keep the Senate in session for two uninterrupted days to force Republicans to defend their filibuster.

“Blocking an up or down vote on Levin-Reed shows that Republicans are more interested in protecting the President than protecting our troops,” Reid said. “This week, we will make Republicans answer for their refusal to allow an up-or-down vote on the most important issue facing our country today. If Republicans insist on blocking a change of course in Iraq, Democrats will keep them in session to explain their obstruction.”

Said Durbin: “Some Republicans have begun to say that a change of course is needed in Iraq. But their actions have yet to match their words. This week all those Republicans will be given an opportunity to join the majority of the Congress and a vast majority of the American people and vote to change course now.”

“Each day, more and more Americans demand that we change our mission in Iraq yet the President inexplicably refuses to face the facts,” Schumer said. “The Levin-Reed proposal forces a change in mission in Iraq – which is what the American people demand and the President is unwilling to deliver.”