The Senate failed to push through an amendment to a military appropriations bill that would have drastically cut troop deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, effectively slicing the number of troops on the ground. The measure, cosponsored by Virginia Democrat Jim Webb and increasingly fractious Republican Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, fell 4 votes short of the 60 needed to amend.
The Times reports the vote will be read as a gauge of support for future proposals on a troop pullout. Two more Republicans threw their weight behind a firm April pullout date today, while the president continues to urge patience with the troop surge—and menace a veto on any spending bill without it. (Read more Iraq stories.)