Virginia Sen. Jim Webb holds a press conference Wednesday with Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, the co-sponsor of the Webb amendment.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A measure that would have forced the Pentagon to give troops sent to Iraq stateside leave equal to their time in the battle zone was defeated in the Senate Wednesday evening after failing to draw enough Republican votes.
The amendment from Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., won the support of 56 senators, four short of the 60 votes needed under Senate rules to move it forward. A similar measure had failed to gain approval back in July.
Webb's amendment to a defense authorization bill was strongly opposed by the Bush administration, which argued that it would hamstring the Pentagon's ability to deploy troops as needed.
The measure's chances of passage took a blow earlier in the day, when influential GOP Sen. John Warner of Virginia, who had voted for it in July, announced he would no longer support it.