The Senate defeated on a party-line vote a move by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz to set a Nov. 15 deadline for the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan and other military brass to testify before the Senate about the need for additional troops and resources to fight the war.
McCain's provision, an effort to put pressure on Obama to quickly decide on a troop increase, failed 40-59, and came after the Senate approved an amendment by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., by a 60-39 vote, to postpone such a hearing until Obama has finished a planned review of the Afghanistan war strategy.
“This is an issue that the U.S. Senate should have a role in at least being informed,” McCain argued before the Senate Thursday afternoon. “So, I guess we will be restricted to interviews with Gen. McChrystal on 60 minutes.”
Levin said Obama should be allowed the time to decide whether the strategy needs to be altered in Afghanistan before McChrystal goes public with his request, though it has already been widely circulated.
“It would be “totally inappropriate, in the middle of a deliberative process, to pit our commander in the field against our commander in chief,” Levin said.