US Sen. Reid favors bill restricting attack on Iran
01 Mar 2007 20:35:23 GMT
By Richard Cowan
WASHINGTON, March 1 (Reuters) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday said he likely would support legislation barring a U.S. attack on Iran unless Congress explicitly gave President George W. Bush the green light to do so.
The Nevada Democrat was responding to reporters' questions
about an amendment to an upcoming war-funding bill, which could come to the
Senate floor later this month. The amendment is being drafted by Sen. James
Webb, the Virginia Democrat who won his seat in November largely on a vow to
work to end the war in
"I would be very, very confident, I have not read this (amendment), but I'm confident, in real generality ... that I can support him," Reid told reporters.
Webb's amendment would prohibit Bush from spending any money
on a "unilateral military action in
Webb said he used as a "starting point" legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in January by Republican Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina making it clear that the Iraq war resolution passed by Congress in 2002 does not authorize the use of force in Iran.
U.S.-Iran relations are tense, in part because of
For the past few months, congressional Democrats have been
warning the Bush administration against creating a pretext for a military
On Tuesday, at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on
the war in
"Mr. Chairman it is not true," Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said. "Categorically sir," he added.
Reid, in his remarks to reporters on Thursday, acknowledged
the Pentagon's assurances. But he added, "There are many out there much
smarter than I am who believe the administration is ramping up to have the same
thing happen in
However, Reid applauded the administration's announcement
this week that the
Previously, the administration had ruled out direct talks
Later this month, the Senate could take up debate on a $100
billion bill to pay for continued combat in
Besides Webb's possible amendment, the
But even before the war spending bill comes up, the Senate
could stage a debate the week of March 12 on
He added he was inclined to let Republicans have a vote on a
proposal they favored, which would bar any cutoff of funds for the war.
Republican leaders have so far blocked consideration of Senate measures
disapproving of Bush's