WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- A majority of U.S. senators voted Wednesday for a bill requiring troops get more rest before returning overseas but it died for lack of a veto-proof majority.
The bill -- backed by Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., and Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. -- was killed after receiving only 56 votes, four short of the 60 it needed to prevent a filibuster, The New York Times reported.
Forty-four senators voted against it, including presidential hopeful, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
“We have one commander in chief, and one only,” said McCain during the debate leading up to the vote.
The vote broke largely along party lines. All Senate Democrats voted for it, along with six Republicans and one Independent -- Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Among the Republicans who voted for the bill, four -- Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Gordon Smith of Oregon, John Sununu of New Hampshire and Susan Collins of Maine -- face difficult re-election contests in 2008.
Sen. John Warner, R-Va. -- who had previously endorsed the measure -- voted against it Wednesday, saying he had been persuaded by senior military officials it could lengthen soldiers’ tours in Iraq, the Times said.
Webb and Hagel told reporters they would continue to press the debate in the Iraq War.
“It’s going to be a long, emotional debate,” he said.
“We’ll keep at this and assure that the American people understand what’s in play,” said Hagel.