News

    US Senate Democrats Plan Around-the-Clock Debate on Iraq

    Multimedia

    Audio

    U.S. Senate Democratic leaders are planning an around-the-clock debate on Iraq beginning Tuesday to try to pressure Republicans to vote for legislation calling for a withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq by next April. VOA's Deborah Tate reports from Capitol Hill.

    The Democratic-sponsored troop withdrawal measure calls for the pullout to begin within 120 days after passage and completed by April of next year. Some troops would remain in Iraq to train Iraqi forces and fight terrorism.

    The House of Representatives passed similar legislation last week, but prospects for passage in the Senate appear dim.

    Senate Republicans echo the White House position that setting a timetable for a withdrawal from Iraq would amount to surrendering to terrorists.

    "To execute a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq now, regardless of the conditions on the battlefield, and regardless of the advice of our commanders in the field, is unthinkable," said Senator Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican. "It would be a stain on this Senate for years to come."

    Republican opponents are vowing to block the measure from coming to a vote, prompting this response from the Senate's top Democrat, Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

    "Republicans are more interested in protecting the president than our troops," he said.

    Reid says more than 50 senators back the measure - enough to pass it on a simple majority vote in the 100-member chamber.

    But at least 60 votes are needed under Senate rules to overcome any effort to halt the legislation - a margin that continues to elude supporters.

    Opponents say Senator Reid's plan to hold the Senate in session for an all-night session will not make them back down.

    Besides the troop pullout legislation, the Senate is also debating a Republican-backed proposal calling on President Bush to send Congress plans to begin downsizing the U.S. combat troop presence in Iraq by the end of the year. Those plans are to be sent to Congress by mid-October.

    The proposal, co-sponsored by influential Republican Senator John Warner of Virginia, also calls on the president to seek a new congressional war authorization for military operations in Iraq.

    "I feel that in view of all that has transpired in nearly five years - this will be five years since we passed it this October, it is the duty of Congress to review it," he said.

    But many Democrats believe that proposal does not go far enough because it does not require that troops be redeployed, but only that the president submit plans for their withdrawal.

    "It is not enough to pass something that sounds good but does not move us toward ending the war," said Senator Russ Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat.

    The Iraq-related measures are being proposed as amendments to a defense policy bill.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora