Reid Reaches Out to GOP Defectors to Vote for Change in Iraq

Making Amendments

A bipartisan group of senators led by Ken Salazar, D-Colo., and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., are planning to offer a measure calling for the implementation of all of the Iraq Study Group's 79 recommendations.

Both Reid and Webb are planning to offer amendments as well.

The majority leader, along with Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., wants to mandate a complete troop withdrawal by March 31, 2008, and cut off funding for combat operations after that.

In an amendment that has earned a fair amount of bipartisan support, Armed Services Committee member Webb, joined by Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., wants to improve troop readiness by giving troops the same amount of time at home as the length of their previous tour overseas; this will be the first amendment that senators debate this week. Webb said that his amendment would lessen the burden that American soldiers have to bear.

"We are now in the fifth year of ground combat operations in Iraq," Webb said. "And this deck of cards is crashing down, and it's landing heavily on the heads of the soldiers and the Marines who have been deployed again and again while the rest of the country sits back and debates Iraq as an intellectual or emotional exercise."

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