WASHINGTON -Senator and Presidential Candidate Chris Dodd today issued the following statement about the stalled Senate debate regarding Iraq.

"On the same day that the National Intelligence Estimate was declassified, and revealed that Al-Qaeda will likely leverage its contacts and capabilities in Iraq to mount an attack on U.S. soil, President Bush and his allies in the Senate are threatening to hold up a change of course in Iraq. The National Intelligence Estimate plainly shows that our continued involvement in Iraq is making us less secure at home and abroad, and yet there are some who believe that we must stay the course.

"I believe those who refuse to allow this Senate to vote on this critical issue do a grave disservice to America's security by enabling this President to continue with his failed strategy in Iraq. Every additional day we "stay the course" in Iraq our nation is less safe and the people of Iraq get further away from coming together to fashion a political and diplomatic solution to their civil conflict. Our men and women in uniform have served this nation valiantly in Iraq, but we must serve them better by safely and responsibly bringing this war to an end.

"It is imperative that we change course in Iraq now.

"Sadly the President and his allies stand in the way of that goal. But support for the President's policy erodes as each passing day unfolds with more violence and chaos in Iraq. And, I predict the day will come when this Congress will have the courage to say enough is enough - but sadly it won't come before more American lives are lost, our standing in the world is further eroded, and our country becomes more vulnerable."