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Gonzales defends interrogation methods

ANNE PLUMMER FLAHERTY, Associated Press | September 18 2006

WASHINGTON - The White House told lawmakers it would send Congress a revised proposal late Monday for dealing with terrorism suspects as the number of GOP senators publicly opposing President Bush's initial plan continued to grow.

A Republican-led Senate committee last week defied Bush and approved terror-detainee legislation that Bush vowed to block. Sen. John Warner (news, bio, voting record), normally a Bush supporter, pushed the measure through his Senate Armed Services Committee by a 15-9 vote.

John Ullyot, a spokesman for Warner, said the Virginia senator expected to receive another draft of the legislation. No details were immediately available.

The White House was adamant last week that the Senate proposal would end the CIA program to interrogate terrorists. Top officials spoke with reporters and senators in a bid to shore up support for Bush's legislation instead.

Whether Bush would have enough votes to win on the Senate floor remained unclear. On Monday, Warner appeared to have the majority of support in the Senate, with at least 52 votes in their favor if Democrats backed them as expected.

GOP Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and Olympia Snowe of Maine said they favor Warner's bill, joining Warner and three others who voted for it during the committee meeting last week.

There are 44 Democratic senators plus a Democratic-leaning independent, Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont.

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