July 11th, 2007
12:34 PM ET
4 years ago

Senators prevent vote on U.S. troop rotation changes

Watch CNN's Wolf Blitzer talk with Sen. Jim Webb Tuesday about troop deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senators lacked the four votes needed Wednesday to bring to the floor a Democrat-sponsored amendment that would have set restrictions on U.S. troop rotations in Iraq and Afghanistan, to give troops more time at home.

The tally for the procedural motion was 56 to 41. Sixty votes were required to cut off debate on the amendment so a vote could be held.

Under the proposal by Jim Webb, D-Virginia, military personnel who return from deployments would have had to remain stateside for at least as long as they spent overseas, before they could be sent back.

The vote was being seen as a test of whether Democrats have gained enough momentum from disaffected Republican senators to begin forcing changes in the U.S. strategy in Iraq.

President Bush vetoed a Democratic-led effort to set a date for withdrawal from Iraq in May. That push is being renewed this week in Congress, with proposed changes to the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2008 budget year.

There are increasing calls from Republican lawmakers to begin a drawdown of U.S. troops.

The Senate vote comes one day before the White House is to deliver an interim report to Congress on how well the Iraqi government is meeting political benchmarks.


Filed under: Iraq
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Pete, T.S. FL

    Again I question who supports the troops. Not the administration and not the senators who voted against this measure.

    And to top it off they will give them a 3.5% raise to die for a mistake that will go down in history as the worst decision made since the beginning of this young democracy.

    You all should be ashamed to call yourself “Senator”

    “WE THE PEOPLE”

    July 11, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. Travis B Glade Spring, VA

    I agree that those of us that would like to see our troops brought home are the ones that support them the most. I am thankful every day for the sacrifice those brave men and women make for us, but we need to end this war completely if the Iraqi government and people aren't willing to work for improvement. We have to admit our mistakes and quit masking stupidity with FALSE patriotism.

    July 11, 2007 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    This is just horrible. These men and women get deployed, re-deployed, and when they are about to come home, they get notified of a 3-4 month delay. It's just disgusting. These are not political props, they are not someone's toy soldiers. Why anyone would vote against a bill that would give them the rest and time with family that they need and deserve is beyond me. To demand that people fight and die in a war and demand that they sacrifice SO MUCH while people here at home sacrifice so little is completely and totally wrong.

    July 11, 2007 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    I probably would have voted against the Webb amendment but I would definitely have questions.
    Why was the Bush Executive Order ordering the Ready Reserve to Active Duty necessary? Why were deployments extended in such a disorganized fashion? Why was the "mission" so poorly planned?

    July 11, 2007 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. Dale Hernden Saginaw, MI

    Efforts like this from Senators Webb,Durbin and Leahy as well as Representatives Conyers, Pelosi and Murtha are nothing more than efforts to embarass President Bush and weaken the constuitional authority of the Executive Branch. If they would spend their time trying to reach a reasonable solution to the Social Security and Medicaid issues instead, our future would be far more secure.

    Is it any wonder that the Congress's approval rating is even lower than the Presidents?

    July 11, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. Ashen Shard, Chambersburg, PA

    Posted By Dale Hernden Saginaw, MI : July 11, 2007 2:12 pm

    So, trying to give the troops support and rest they not only deserve is a waste of time? If Republicans would actually support the troops rather than preventing an up or down vote on legislation done with this they and this administration wouldn't have cause for embarrassment. They create embarrassment for themselves by their own partisan and crass positions.

    Besides, every time the Democrats try and tackle an issue, the Republicans obstruct it. So due it is due to the Republicans refusal to allow votes on meaningful legislation that is preventing reasonable solutions.

    July 11, 2007 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. Craig Indianapolis, IN

    I love when conservatives say that the congress' approval is lower then the president's and that that somehow means that America dislikes the liberal view more then the president's. Hogwash, we're more upset with the democratic congress because we voted them into the majority and they still can't do anything! Seriously, this is so frustrating its unbelievable. They can't pass anything.

    They can't pass this bill that really should have the support of everyone. Those that are against the war: bills good for you. Those that support our brave men and women: yup, good bill for them. Believe in the conservative talking point of strong national defense? Then surely you see just how broken and unsustainable this deployment track is: good bill for you.

    Heck, they couldn't even pass a one-line sentence saying something that everyone believes.

    Can’t get anything done on the war (this bill), can't hold the executive to any sort of accountability regarding gross cronyism (attorney firings) and abuse of power (CIA leak). It just goes on and on. We’re not upset with them because we like the administration; we're pissed at them because we voted for them to do something about how much we don't like the administration.

    July 11, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. Pete, T.S. FL

    Dale,

    FYI the $2.5 billion a week that we spend in Iraq would fix Medicare, Social Security and a host of other issues.

    Wake up America before it is too late!

    “WE THE PEOPLE”

    July 11, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. Mary, Holland, MI

    This just proves that there needs to be MORE Democrats voted into office in November. The margin of majority is too small for the Democrats to get anything done about Iraq. Congress is too polarized now thanks in part to the current administration (you know, the "uniter" not the "divider").

    July 11, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  10. DJ, Los Angeles

    This is a serious matter and begs the question...do we not have enough soldiers in the Army and USMC to NOT have continuous re-deployments to Iraq?

    The reality is that Iraq is stretching out our military too thin to have 150,000 fresh troops over the course of 4 years and counting. Not to mention almost 30,000 KIA or wounded which can not be replaced fast enough to keep up with demand.

    Webb has good intentions but the reality is that the military is does not really have much of a choice.

    July 11, 2007 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. bret, atl, ga

    The choice is clear: stop the stupid wars already!

    It's the ECONOMY STUPID. This country is going bankrupt, fast. Churning the printing presses isn't going to last forever.

    Ron Paul is the only guy in the race with any sense whatsoever.

    July 11, 2007 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  12. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    I have the highest respect for Senator Webb. As a Marine officer in Vietnam, he was a recipient of the Navy Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart. He is also a former Secretary of the Navy. I believe he has the very best interest of out troops at heart. The only reason this amendment was shot down, as was previously mentioned, was that the Democrats simply do not have the magic number of 60 votes in the Senate. Republicans keep 'stone walling'....

    July 11, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  13. Whitson, Lubbock Texas

    This bills failure is unfair to our military men and women who valiantly served their tour of duty only to be told "Your going back for another.”

    July 11, 2007 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  14. Gary Preston, Annandale, VA

    This lack of support for our fighting men and women but peoiple here in the states sitting fat, dumb, and happy really boggles my mind. How on earth can our military do their best when they are fatigued, shot at daily, and in the warzone for longer and longer periods. Like Senator Webb, I used to be a diehard republican and I have two sons in Iraq. Extended an extra 3 months because of a lack of replacement forces. This is insane and anyone, anyone, that can justify the current policy is nothing more than a non-thinking puppet that doesn't want to get side-stepped by the facts!!! I did 25 years in the military myself and fought in the first Persian Gulf War (Desert Storm). I'll put my awards and decorations up against arm chair general that doesn't believe our troops need some rest after being shot at and bomber every day for 15 months at a time!

    July 11, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  15. cliff, honolulu hi

    This is just horrendous. When I was in Vietnam, we counted the days backward from 365 until it was time to go home. Very few people wanted to return. The Bush Administration is forcing our soldiers to do two and even three tours.I certainly find this act a high crime.

    July 11, 2007 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  16. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Dale Hernden Saginaw, MI

    "Efforts like this from Senators Webb,Durbin and Leahy as well as Representatives Conyers, Pelosi and Murtha are nothing more than efforts to embarass President Bush"

    Excuse me, but Bush doesn't need Democratic Senators or Representatives to cause him embarassment. He is and has been.. doing a fine job of that All By Himself!

    "and weaken the constuitional authority of the Executive Branch."

    And Cheney is doing a fine job of that all by himself without any assistance from the Democrats!

    "If they would spend their time trying to reach a reasonable solution to the Social Security and Medicaid issues instead, our future would be far more secure."

    The Dems have been doing just that and if Bush and his Gang would refrain from Veteoing every Bill and Proposal they submit they just might be able to find the solutions you speak of and make progress in putting those solutions in motion.

    "Is it any wonder that the Congress’s approval rating is even lower than the Presidents?"

    The Congress' rate of approval is at an all time high with me. My rating on Bush however is lower than the lowest and there is nothing he will ever do that will ever change it.

    July 11, 2007 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  17. Tony C.

    Every Senator, Congressman, the V.P. and that bastard Bush should have to send their family members to Iraq first, put them on the front lines before making one decision to endanger anyone else. Watch how fast Bush would pull the troops out if his trampy daughters, brohtes, nephews were in harms way. He has no conscience or concern when killing anyone else. Hope he rots in alongside his other partners in crime!

    July 12, 2007 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  18. GEORGE ARTHUR SR DEER PARK TEXAS

    VOTE THEM OUT . WE NEED A NEW GOVERNMENT.

    July 12, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. Sydney, Clarksville, TN

    I don't know what these people are thinking, but I consider every senator who voted against this amendment a personal enemy of my family. As a wife of an infantry soldier, I am outraged with the republicans in government. I hope they all lose their jobs and I mean four years ago.

    September 19, 2007 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |