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Senate blocks effort to renew Iraq debate

The US Senate narrowly defeated an effort to renew debate over the troop build-up in Iraq Saturday. The minority Republicans successfully formed a block against Democrats' efforts to formulate an official opposition to the Bush administration's war policy. This decision came just a day after the House successfully passed a resolution stating their opposition to the troop build-up plan, according to the New York Times.

However, the outcome (56-34) fell short of the neccessary 60 votes to break a procedural stalemate on the issue. The vote also suggests, according to the New York Times, that Senate Republicans are beginning to defect from party lines in joining the Democrats on the administration's Iraq policy. Among the defects, the New York Times reported, was Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), along with six other Senate Republicans.

This is the second time the Senate Republicans have successfully blocked an Iraq resolution. According to the Houston Chronical, Bush said that Congressional opposition to his war policies will not change his decided course of action.

The Pioneer Press picked up The Associated Press's version of the story, which also reported that Democrat leaders would no longer focus their attention on non-binding resolutions like the one that failed Saturday.