Many freshmen U.S. Senators are so busy getting their new offices and legislative operations together and generally laying low as newcomers that they either don't get or don't create the opportunity to propose grand measures or take important stands on large issues. Rhode Island Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, who unseated Republican Lincoln Chafee in November, is clearly not content to be in that mold.
Whitehouse announced yesterday that, in addition to fully supporting the Feingold-Reid bill that will force George W. Bush to withdraw from Iraq by cutting off funding for the ill-advised war, he will sign on as a cosponsor of the legislation.
"The American people voted for a new direction in Iraq, but this President just isn't listening," said Alex Swartsel, Communications Director for Senator Whitehouse. "Senator Whitehouse will cosponsor the Feingold-Reid bill to keep putting pressure on the administration to change course and start bringing our troops home from Iraq."
Major kudos go to Senator Whitehouse for showing this kind of leadership and for stepping up to the plate in such a significant way on behalf of our troops in Iraq.
Meanwhile, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who had already signed up to cosponsor Feingold-Reid, released a statement yesterday after both Bush and Dick Cheney slammed the legislation earlier this week and pledged a presidential veto.
"The new Congress has charted a way to end our involvement in a civil war," said Leahy. "The American people want a way out of this foreign policy disaster, and I hope the President will reconsider his veto threat."
With the addition of Senator Whitehouse, this brings to nine the total number of Democratic Senators who have already pledged to support Feingold-Reid, with more expected when the Senate returns from Spring recess on Tuesday.
You can read more from Bob at BobGeiger.com.