Senate GOP leaders block Webb dwell-time plan
By Rick Maze - Staff writer / ArmyTimes
Posted : Wednesday Jul 11, 2007 14:12:40 EDT
A Senate proposal to guarantee combat troops more time at home was derailed Wednesday by a procedural roadblock thrown by Republicans.
Fifty-six senators supported the plan offered by two military veterans — Sens. Jim Webb, D-Va., and Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. — that would promise service members returning from deployment as much time at home as they had spent in a combat zone, unless they volunteer to return early.
Under normal circumstances, 56 votes would have been enough for the measure to pass. But the Senate’s debate over Iraq policy during consideration of the $648 billion defense policy bill for 2008 is not normal, because Republican leaders have vowed to use procedural moves to stop Democrats from changing the Bush administration’s Iraq strategy.
With Republicans threatening endless debate, known in legislative terms as a filibuster, supporters of the Webb-Hagel amendment needed to muster 60 votes to stop the talking and bring the plan to a vote. They fell four votes short.
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Supporting the troops? ... only if lip service counts.