Saturday, February 17, 2007

McCain To Skip Iraq Vote

Republican presidential hopeful John McCain, a staunch supporter of sending more troops to Iraq, will skip a Senate vote on the war Saturday to campaign in Iowa while other candidates rearrange their schedules.

In control of the Senate, Democrats called the rare Saturday session for the procedural vote. They need 60 votes to advance a nonbinding resolution criticizing President Bush's plan to boost the number of U.S. forces in the nearly four-year-old war.

McCain, R-Ariz., has derided the Democratic move as political trickery. He backs Bush's plan, and his presence or absence would make no difference in the outcome of the vote. So, he plans to stick to his itinerary of three town hall meetings in Iowa, the early voting state in the primary process.

"It's nothing more than a partisan stunt and an evasion of our responsibilities," McCain told reporters Friday night before a speech in Chicago. "I think it's an insult to the public and our soldiers to pretend we're discharging our responsibilities to them when all we're doing is debating a meaningless, a meaningless resolution."

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