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Senators prepare for pajama party

Rather than waiting for Friday night, when members could spend all night reading the new Harry Potter book, the U.S. Senate seems bound for an all-nighter tonight as Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., draws a Repubican filibuster on the Levin-Reed Amendment to the Defense Authorization bill requring redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq by next spring.

“Senators who oppose this war need to demonstrate that we will work through the night to get the 60 votes necessary for a deadline date for our troops to be disengaged from a civil war that has caused so much pain and grief for too many of our military families,” Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said this morning. “There are always those who will demean what we are trying to do, but I fully support this effort which I hope will keep the pressure on Senators to stand up and be counted when we call the roll on the Levin-Reed amendment setting a timetable that will end this mission.”

Boxer is tentatively scheduled to speak on the floor from 7 to 8 p.m. PDT; just before that, she’ll be at a rally in Upper Senate Park hosted by Americans United for Change, VoteVets.org, MoveOn.org and Americans Against Escalation in Iraq.

UPDATE @ 2:25 P.M. TUESDAY: Just in, this comment from U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.: “Many of us have voted over and over and over again for change. Yet, this President has refused to listen. He has worn blinders. He has ignored the views of Congress and the American people. So this effort is to bring attention to the need for action. Not in eight weeks, but now. We’ve got to change course in Iraq, and begin the process of bringing our troops home.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.