A proposal to start the debate on February 5 failed to get the required 60 votes in the 100-member Senate, with nearly all Republicans voting against it.
The proposed resolution, supported by lawmakers of the Democratic Party majority and some Republicans, would reject Bush's deployment of the additional forces, but would not be legally binding on the president.
Republican opponents of the resolution say the measure could demoralize U.S. forces in Iraq and show disunity on the war.
Senator Harry Reid (Nevada), leader of the Senate's Democratic majority, has vowed that the Democrats will force the Congress to debate Bush's Iraq policy
Reid said last November's elections that put the Democrats in majority power show that Americans want a change of course in Iraq, not an escalation of the war.
(compiled from agency reports)
The Imam Al-Mahdi Army on parade (epa)
HAS THE CONFLICT IN IRAQ BECOME A CIVIL WAR? Many observers have concluded that the tit-for-tat sectarian violence that emerged after the February 2006 bombing of a mosque in Samarra has become a full-blown civil war.... (more)
U.S. Media Starts Using 'Civil War' Label
Iraqi Prime Minister Under Fire From All Sides
U.S. Expert Discusses Prospects For Stabilization
President Says Iraq Needs Iran's Help
Saudi Arabia To Seal Off Border With Security Fence
THE COMPLETE PICTURE: Click on the image to view RFE/RL's complete coverage of events in Iraq and that country's ongoing transition.