Hagel, Snowe Jump Ship

Number of GOP defectors backing withdrawal plan climbs to 3
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2007 4:14 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Two more Republican senators crossed party lines today to back legislation that calls for the US to start pulling out of Iraq within 4 months and withdraw by April. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Maine's Olympia Snowe of Maine signed on on as co-sponsors of the measure, along with Oregon's Gordon Smith and Democrats Carl Levin and Jack Reed.

Hagel, a potential presidential candidate, climbed aboard when his proposal to enlist the UN's assistance was folded into the proposal. Calling on Congress to "address the reality," the moderate Snowe said the "current strategy is unacceptable." The legislation calls for the removal of most US troops by next spring and allows a smaller force to remain to aid counterterrorism efforts.