On the eve of the State of the Union address, Senators Warner, Collins and Nelson have just announced their own resolution opposing the President's escalation strategy.
I have mixed feelings about this. It's good that an influential Republican like Warner is coming out in opposition to escalation, but I don't like the adoption of the "augmentation" terminology and all that comes with it. Weakening the language will garner more bipartisan support but doesn't send a strong enough message as the Levin-Hagel resolution does.
The resolution -- also sponsored by Armed Services Committee members Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska -- tones down some of the language used in a resolution introduced earlier by Sens. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, Joe Biden, D-Delaware, and Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska, sources involved with crafting the resolution tell CNN.
Warner -- whose clout will likely influence several Republicans on the fence over Bush's Iraq plan -- has so far avoided saying whether he agrees or disagrees with the president's plan, but is said to have been working behind the scenes for some time to build support for a compromise.
A source familiar with a draft as of Friday said the word "escalation" in the first resolution -- a term coined by Democrats to describe the troop increase which Republicans consider too partisan -- has been replaced in the second resolution by "augmentation." The resolution will also express Warner's concern over sending troops into entrenched sectarian violence.