Dems in Congress Continue Surge Struggle

By Theresa Cook

Jan 9, 2008 12:21pm

ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf Reports:  A year into the "surge" strategy in Iraq and a year away from a new President, the Democrats in Congress continue to argue against the Bush administration’s Iraq plan.

The Democrats, who so vehemently — yet unsuccessfully — opposed the surge, are still seeking a way to either work with President Bush, or work around him, for the next 12 months.

As the military runs out of troops to maintain the surge, the Democrats are arguing that despite tangible security benefits, the United States is still on the wrong tack in Iraq.

Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy released a statement Wednesday arguing that timelines for withdrawal are still the only way to go.

"The best way to protect our troops and our own national security is to put the Iraqis on notice that they need to take responsibility for their future," Kennedy’s statement said.  "Unless there’s a binding timeline for withdrawal of our troops, the Iraqis will not feel the need to make the compromises essential for a political solution."

In a joint statement Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were more oblique about what to do next, though no less critical of the surge.

"Like the American people, Democrats know that we urgently need a change of course in Iraq as political progress — the primary goal of the surge — remains out of reach," their statement said.

"It is a failure of leadership when our President calls 2007 ‘incredibly successful beyond anybody’s expectations’ when the Iraqi government has done so little to achieve stability and it has been the most lethal year yet for American troops," the statement continued.

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