The Dwell Time Amendment

Filed in Gather Politics News Channel by on April 5, 2008 0 Comments


Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., has spent much of the last year trying to push through a ‘dwell time’ amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act “requiring that active-duty troops and units have at least equal time at home as the length of their previous tour overseas.” We have broken the backs of our troops by sending them on fourth and fifth tours. The amendment would simply give troops the equivalent time in leave as service abroad. Currently, troops serve 15 months for every 12 months at home. For Spc. Jason Shaw, who joined the army at age 17 (and is now 22), the current National Defense Authorization Act required Shaw to spend 27 out of the last 48 months, or 4 years, in Iraq. McCain opposes the amendment on the grounds that it infringes upon the powers of the executive.

Sen. Webb understands the stresses facing our troops as good as anyone in Washington; Webb is the only Senator with a son serving in Iraq.

Nearly a year after proposing the amendment, Webb is still fighting:


Sen. Webb based his 2006 candidacy for the Senate on the issue of Iraq. When Sen. Webb pulled off the upset win over Sen. George Allen, R-Va., he “declined to stand in a presidential receiving line or to have his picture taken with the man he had often criticized on the stump.” Eventually, the president caught up with Sen. Webb in what would be a most memorable exchange. The confrontation went like this:

“How’s your boy?” Bush asked, referring to Webb’s son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

“I’d like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President,” Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

“That’s not what I asked you,” Bush said. “How’s your boy?”

“That’s between me and my boy, Mr. President,” Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.

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