updated 10/10/2006 7:01:53 PM ET 2006-10-10T23:01:53

Sen. Olympia Snowe joined a growing list of Republicans calling for a change of course in Iraq, a position that could undermine President Bush’s election-year assertion that the nation shouldn’t set a timetable for troops to come home.

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Snowe, a moderate who often bucks the Republican Party line, said in a statement Tuesday more should be done to pressure the Iraqis to take control of their country and make clear U.S. support is not unlimited.

Her remarks echoed those of Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., who last week said Congress should reconsider its options if the security situation — which he described as dire — does not improve in the next couple of months.

Warner is not up for re-election, while Snowe is, although she is considered a shoo-in.

As the Nov. 7 elections inch closer, more and more Republicans have grown louder in expressing their opposition to the White House’s handling of the war, which remains unpopular with voters and a thorn in the side of Republicans struggling to maintain control of Congress.

Among those voicing their disappointment with the war are Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, along with Reps. Christopher Shays of Connecticut and Walter Jones of North Carolina.

“As conditions in Iraq continue to worsen, there must be no question among the administration, the Congress and the Iraqi unity government that staying the course is neither an option nor a plan,” Snowe said Tuesday.

Last year, the Senate overwhelmingly passed a measure championed by Warner that labeled 2006 the year of transition in Iraq. But a spike in U.S. casualties and ethnic violence kept troop numbers high with no chance troops will return home in large numbers by the time voters head to the poll.

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