For the above 56 Senators to vote for the debate, it took seven Republicans to vote for it, which seems reasonably significant.
In the House, 17 Republicans voted against the President's plan, making the total vote 246 to 182 against the Bush plan.
Despite this technical failure in the Senate, all the above numbers amount to a very significant show of strength against Bush's plan. Added to this, there was the routing of the Republicans in the Congressional elections last November. And there is the small matter of Bush's approval ratings, which are in the low 30s. A Tiny Revolution reports: " Since polling began, Nixon is the only two-term president with lower approval ratings at a comparable point in his presidency".