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.