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US Senate Debating Iraq Resolution Criticizing Troop Buildup

The U.S. Senate is debating whether to allow a vote on a non-binding resolution expressing disapproval of President Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq.

The debate Saturday comes one day after the U.S. House of Representatives, in a symbolic rebuke to the president's policies in Iraq, approved a similar resolution.

The bipartisan resolution opposes deployment of more U.S. troops while expressing continued support for American forces already in Iraq.

Democrats narrowly control the Senate, but they must gain enough Republican support to proceed to a debate on the resolution. Democrats say Republicans want to block debate on Iraq to avoid embarrassing the president.

Passage could pave the way for binding legislation on the conflict that has resulted in the deaths of more than 3,100 U.S. troops.

The president says he will not be deterred by the non-binding resolution. A White House spokesman says Mr. Bush is insistent that U.S. troops have the funds and flexibility they need to continue to secure the situation in Iraq.

Democratic Representative John Murtha oversees defense appropriations. He says his party is not trying to take money away from American troops. He says he will seek to block new deployments by requiring that the U.S. military meet a series of conditions and training guidelines prior to deploying troops in combat zones.

Republican Senator John Warner is among several members of the president's party who support the non-binding resolution. He says that Iraqis should take more responsibility to end the sectarian violence in their country.