updated 2/3/2007 10:18:29 PM ET 2007-02-04T03:18:29

A few senators from President Bush's own party may determine the outcome of an Iraq war vote this week that would hurt him. These Republicans, facing re-election in 2008, must weigh party loyalty and voters' anger at an unpopular war.

  1. Other political news of note
    1. Animated Boehner: 'There's nothing complex about the Keystone Pipeline!'

      House Speaker John Boehner became animated Tuesday over the proposed Keystone Pipeline, castigating the Obama administration for not having approved the project yet.

    2. Budget deficits shrinking but set to grow after 2015
    3. Senate readies another volley on unemployment aid
    4. Obama faces Syria standstill
    5. Fluke files to run in California

A resolution by Republican Sen. John Warner would put the Senate on record as opposing Bush's decision to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq.

With Republicans ready to use parliamentary delays that would take 60 votes to force a vote on the Warner measure — and with some Democrats opposing the resolution — a handful of the Republican lawmakers who face voters soon are likely to play a crucial role.

The vote would be the first on Iraq since the Nov. 7 elections, where voters unseated six Republican senators and put Democrats in charge.

Passage of the resolution would be a blow for the White House, which says sending more troops to Baghdad is the best shot at winning the war.

"What's important is that people in New Hampshire know the concerns I've raised, my position on the issue, my support for the Iraq Study Group recommendations and my concern about the increase in troop levels," said Senator John Sununu, a New Hampshire Republican.

He faces a potentially tough fight next year in a state that dumped its Republican politicians last election in favor of Democratic challengers.

Sununu declined to say how he will vote.

But Sununu and colleagues in his position are in a difficult spot.

"I'm unhappy about the conduct of the war in Iraq and I would like to express my support for the troops at the same time," said Republican Senator Lamar Alexander. He, too, is up for re-election next year and would not say how he would vote.

So far, six Republicans, including Warner, support his measure. Five are among the 21 Republican senators whose terms are up in 2008: Warner, Susan Collins, Norm Coleman, Gordon Smith and Chuck Hagel.

Hagel, who could choose to retire, is considering a run for the White House.

Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe, who won re-election in November, also supports Warner's resolution.

Sens. George Voinovich, Lisa Murkowski and Sam Brownback are considered the other Republican Party possibilities in the vote. None is heading into a re-election year, although Brownback is a 2008 presidential contender. They have said they lean toward Warner's proposal.

Of the 51 members who caucus with the Democrats, Warner has lost at least four votes. One of the Senate's two independents, Joseph Lieberman, is opposed to the resolution. Bernard Sanders has not taken a position.

Warner also has lost support from Democrats Christopher Dodd and Russ Feingold, who say a provision to protect money for troops might preclude Congress from taking stronger measures to end the war.

Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson, hospitalized after suffering a brain hemorrhage shortly after the elections, is recovering and will not vote this week, a spokeswoman said.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments