The Senate on Tuesday voted 70 to 24 to advance a bill that would set a date for bringing American troops home from the war in Iraq. Senator Bernie Sanders was presiding over the Senate and read the result of the lopsided roll call vote. The outcome on a procedural motion masked lingering divisions in Congress about continuing the war. Republican senators are expected to oppose a final vote on passage of the bill later this week or early next week. "At a time when we have a $9 trillion national debt and enormous unmet needs in this country, this war continues to cost us an astronomical $12 billion each and every month," Senator Bernie Sanders said. "We should stop the war, stop the bloodshed, rebuild our credibility around the world, and reorder our priorities at home."
Sanders and Senator Patrick Leahy cosponsored the bill to end the war. Said Leahy, "The Bush administration's failed policy in Iraq has stretched our military to the breaking point, diluted and diverted our efforts to counter al Qaeda and its affiliates in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and roiled the Middle East with instability. The sooner we change course the sooner we can implement a sound, sensible and sustainable policy that truly advances our security interests."
The war took center stage on the Senate floor as the Army's chief of staff told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that combat missions have left "our Army out of balance, consumed by the current fight." Gen. George Casey added that the United States is "unable to do the things we know we need to do to properly sustain our all-volunteer force and restore our flexibility for an uncertain future."
Below is footage of the roll-call vote: