Senate to Pull Iraq All-Nighter

Democrats maneuver to force up-down vote on president's war policy
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2007 9:26 AM CDT
Outgoing Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace gestures during a news conference with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, not shown, Friday, July 13, 2007, at the Pentagon. (AP Photo/Heesoon Yim)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Democrats will plunge the Senate into a rare overnight debate tonight, hoping to pressure Republicans uneasy about the president’s Iraq war strategy by forcing a simple majority vote. The session will conclude in a vote on troop withdrawal tomorrow morning. Republicans responded to yesterday's announcement by accusing Democrats of playing politics and suggesting they’ll filibuster, the Times reports.

A proposal to start redeployment within 120 days is believed to have more than 50 votes but not the 60 needed to avert a filibuster. Harry Reid acknowledged that he scheduled the all-nighter to "make Republicans answer for their refusal to allow an up or down vote." GOP leader Mitch McConnell called the maneuver "theater and bad theater at that."