WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans blocked a plan on Wednesday to give U.S. troops in Iraq proper home leave.
The measure to give troops as much rest time at home as they spent on their most recent tour overseas needed 60 votes to pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate; it received just 56 votes, with 44 against.
It had been offered by Sen. Jim Webb, a decorated Vietnam veteran and former Navy secretary. The Democrat said U.S. troops are being "burned out" by repeated redeployments to Iraq, with tours of up to 15 months and less than a year off in between.
The plan was strongly opposed by the Cheney, Bush, Warner and McCain and Bush said he veto it if it passed. A similar bill has passed the House.
Bush said he and Cheney had fought hard in Vietnam without any rest and the present day troops could do the same.