Senate Democrats vowed Sunday to press ahead with legislation on pulling US troops from Iraq, despite a major defeat last week in their efforts to pass a bill.

“After May 1 of next year, all American troops should be out of there except those dealing with counterterrorism, training Iraqis and protecting our assets,” top Senate Democrat Harry Reid told CBS television on Sunday.

“Academics and military people say Iraq is in chaos right now,” he continued.

“Getting Americans out of Iraq, except for those troops that I just talked about I think would lessen chaos rather than increase it. That’s our plan.”

The Democratic leader added: “We must change course. We’re going to continue doing everything we can in a bipartisan matter to focus attention on that and get our troops home.”

Meanwhile another Democratic senator, Russ Feingold, said he planned to introduce a resolution to censure the president for his handling of Iraq.

Reid said he doubted the Senate would take up the measure, although he expressed some sympathy with the sentiments in it.

“The president already has the mark of the American people that he’s the worst president we’ve ever had. I don’t think we need a censure resolution in the Senate to prove that,” he told CBS.

Democrats on Wednesday failed in a bid to force a troop withdrawal from Iraq, as Republicans, after a rare all-night Senate debate, blocked a vote on a measure calling for troop withdrawals to start within 120 days and for most US combat troops to be out of Iraq by the end of April.

In the end, just four Republicans deserted US President George W. Bush and voted with the Democrats.

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