Republicans Kill Webb's Troop-Protection Amendment
Just moments ago, Senate Republicans succeeded in a filibuster in which they refused to end debate on Virginia Democrat Jim Webb's S. 2012, which would have placed strict limits on National Guard and reserve deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as mandating more downtime at home before active-duty combat troops are returned to battle.
The vote was 56-41 to end debate, with 60 votes needed to move to a full, up-or-down vote on the Webb measure. Once again, the GOP has been successful at destroying another Democratic attempt at helping service members and their families caught in the buzzsaw of the Bush administration's lies and incompetence.
“We have an amendment before us that is critical for the strength of our military and the well-being of our troops. Regardless of where we stand on the war, I would hope that we stand as one in our commitment to keeping our military the strongest in the world," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) before the vote. "We should all agree that we can’t sustain that strength if our men and women in uniform aren’t given the protection and care they need. That’s not a Democratic talking point or a Republican talking point – it’s just common sense."
Apparently not to Republicans, who have now drawn yet another line in the sand -- this one saying that, in addition to not caring about keeping America's troops in Iraq forever, they don’t even care if they have to go back four or five times with insufficient training, rest and time with their families.
Of course, the always-worthless Joe Lieberman voted with Republicans to kill Webb's troop-protection amendment to the Defense Department authorization bill, along with Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) who just showed how sincere he is in his statements about breaking ranks with George W. Bush on the Iraq occupation.
Among those joining Senate Democrats in supporting the Webb measure, were Republicans Norm Coleman, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, John Sununu, Chuck Hagel, Gordon Smith and John Warner -- all but Snowe are up for reelection next year.
"Sadly, our forces are being burned out. Many of our troops are on their third or even their fourth tour in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Patty Murray (D-WA) on the Senate floor Tuesday. "Months ago, the Department of Defense announced that their tours would be extended from 12 months to 15 months. And on top of all that, they are not receiving the necessary time at home before they are sent back to battle."
And until Democrats get past 60 votes in the Senate, it's hard to guess when relief is coming.
November 2008 can't get here fast enough.
I will have more information on this vote later.
Update: The list of Republicans who voted to kill Webb's legislation and who don’t "support the troops" in any way, shape or form is here.