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Alabama Lawmakers Respond to Bush's Address

By Associated Press

Washington, DC – President Bush's call Wednesday night to send more troops to Iraq was received with skepticism by several Alabama lawmakers who have ardently supported President Bush on the Iraq war. Republican Senator Richard Shelby expressed frustration about Iraq during a tour in southern Alabama last weekend. He said he wasn't sure 20,000 troops would be enough, that it might be too little, too late. Senator Jeff Sessions, a Mobile Republican, called the proposal a bitter pill and said administration officials would face tough questioning. Alabama's congressional delegation has generally backed Bush on the war. Democratic Representative Artur Davis of Birmingham has been alone among the state's Congress members in calling for a gradual withdrawal.

But that support appears to be softening, particularly after voters in November sent what lawmakers say was a clear signal about the war. Democratic Representative Bud Cramer, from Huntsville, said he would weigh Bush's proposal but that the White House must present a detailed plan. Representative Jo Bonner, a Republican from Mobile, said he would give the president's plan the benefit of the doubt as a final effort to stabilize the country, only because the other alternative is conceding defeat. Representative Terry Everett, a Rehobeth Republican, said that while he wished the troop escalation had been proposed earlier, he supported Bush's plan.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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