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“Each of us should take a step back from the sloganeering rhetoric and political opportunism that has sometimes characterized this debate,” he said on the Senate floor Monday.

Mr. Voinovich, a staunch defender of the commander in chief’s war powers who has been targeted in his home state by antiwar activists, suggested starting a gradual troop withdrawal coupled with robust diplomacy and foreign aid to help prevent the country’s collapse.

An aide said the timing of the proposal was not related to an announcement this week that a coalition of liberal political group was stirring antiwar sentiment in the home states of Mr. Voinovich and 40 other Republican members of Congress.

In the Senate speech, Mr. Lugar encouraged the president to revisit recommendations made in December by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, which proposed slowly removing U.S. troops while handing security responsibilities over to Iraqi forces and undertaking a regional diplomatic effort.

Mr. Bush at first discarded the recommendations in favor of the surge, which three weeks ago reached its full strength of about 140,000 troops. But last month, he endorsed the study group’s advice as a possible “plan B” following the summer offensive.