US vote on Iraq troops may hinge on Republicans

A few senators from US President George W. Bush's own party may determine the outcome of an Iraq war vote this week that would hurt him. These Republicans, facing re-election in 2008, must weigh party loyalty and voters' anger at an unpopular war. A resolution by Republican Senator John Warner would put the Senate on record as opposing Bush's decision to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq. With Republicans ready to use parliamentary delays that would take 60 votes to force a vote on the Warner measure - and with some Democrats opposing the resolution - a handful of the Republican lawmakers who face voters soon are likely to play a crucial role. The vote would be the first on Iraq since the Nov. 7 elections, where voters unseated six Republican senators and put Democrats in charge.