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Dems Yank Troop Withdrawal Bill From Senate Floor

For two days, anti-war Democrats have traded punches with Republicans over the Iraq war in a debate that could have been held any time in the past few years.

Little new was said in the past two days, but thanks to Republican procedural maneuvers, the Senate was forced to debate a doomed Iraq troop withdrawal bill proposed by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.). Republicans boasted that they wanted to have a debate to highlight recent successes in Iraq.

The issue will quietly fade away this evening from the Senate when Democrats pull the bill and move on to another Iraq related measure _ which would simply force President Bush to set a global strategy for defeating al Qaeda.

Once that bill, also sponsored by Feingold, is either withdrawn or voted on, the Senate will move to the real meat of its agenda _ a housing foreclosure bill.

 UPDATE: Majority Leader Harry Reid's office chides Republicans for drawing out the Iraq debate and not allowing the Senate to move quickly to the housing bill.

"Republicans are stalling because they would rather protect the big lenders – who also happen to be their big donors – than address a crisis that threatens millions of Americans," Reid spokesman Jim Manley said. "Democrats remain committed to fighting for a change of course in Iraq because we know America cannot afford the many costs of this directionless war."