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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Hopes for US Senate Compromise on Iraq Policy Fading

19 September 2007

An influential Republican U.S. senator is considering pulling his support for a measure that would require U.S. troops to spend the same amount of time at home as they spend deployed in Iraq.

John Warner initially supported the amendment introduced by Democrat Jim Webb, his fellow senator from the southern state of Virginia, when it first came to a vote in July.

But Warner now says he is "reconsidering" his support given that President Bush has decided to withdraw some U.S. forces from Iraq by the end of this year.

If he does change his stance, Democrats may find it difficult to attract enough Republicans to achieve the 60 votes needed to move the measure forward for debate and a final vote.

Webb's amendment was strongly opposed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

In another development, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Democrats will abandon efforts to craft a bill that does not have a definitive timeline to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq. Reid hoped the bill would attract Republicans uncomfortable with President Bush's Iraq strategy, but who did not support a firm deadline.

But he says Republicans have not shown any interest in supporting a compromise.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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