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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." (Read more filibuster stories.)