S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

War funding matters are high priority in Congress

The final version of the war supplemental spending bill is about to pass the House. Wednesday the Democrats have perhaps prevailed in their struggle against the Senate's efforts to block release of prisoner abuse photographs. There may be a "deal on the war supplemental near," according to CQ Politics (6/10/09). To quote:

House leaders were preparing to appoint conferees on the bill, setting up a joint session with Senate negotiators shortly thereafter, House Democratic Caucus Chairman John B. Larson , D-Conn., said. Floor action is likely Thursday.

Rep. Louise M. Slaughter , D-N.Y., chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, said the conference report will definitely not contain language, found in the Senate’s version, which would bar for three years the disclosure of images of U.S. war on terror prisoners taken from Sept. 11, 2001, to Jan. 22, 2009.

Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman , I-Conn., and Lindsey Graham , R-S.C., won adoption of the photo amendment in the Senate, and Tuesday *threatened to obstruct all Senate action if it was removed from the legislation. President Obama, like the two senators, has opposed release of the photos, which critics have sought under the Freedom of Information Act.

Traditional supplemental bills, it is important to remember, also contain provisions for budget items that are not war related. That is because it is an "emergency" supplemental designed to fund last minute things that came up unexpectedly. The current version of the "War bill tally could top $105B," according to (6/9/09). To quote:

The White House’s ever-expanding wartime spending bill could soon exceed $105 billion even as President Barack Obama remains stymied by divisions in Congress and a set of terrorism-related issues that have strained relations in his own party.

Democrats said Tuesday that they now expect to add $5.8 billion to cope with the potential threat of H191 flu recurring next winter, and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey (D-Wis.) told POLITICO he is trying to find room for another $800 million to fund the first year of a cash-for-clunkers initiative endorsed by the full House Tuesday

President Jimmy Carter "disagrees with President Obama's decision to block the release of photographs that depict U.S. use of torture and other harsh interrogation methods under the Bush administration." The story is from the ACLU Blog of Rights (6/2/09).Reference -- *Threatened: "Filibuster threatened over detainee photos," is from CQ Politics (6/9/09). To quote:

Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman and Lindsey Graham said Tuesday they would filibuster the supplemental spending bill unless it includes a provision blocking the release of detainee photographs.

“We’re not going to do anymore business in the Senate. Nothing is going forward until we get this right,” threatened Graham, R- S.C.

The Senate adopted the prohibition as an amendment to its version of the bill (HR 2346). However, many liberal Democrats in the House already opposed to spending more money on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, are bucking White House efforts to keep the photos from the public.

President Obama has been encouraging the Senate and House to settle their differences regarding paying for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But it is not an easy thing to do. Liberals remain opposed to the war in Iraq, and some are even opposed to escalating the war in Afghanistan. And, typically, seemingly unrelated items found their way into this supplemental. This time it is the controversy over President Obama's policy reversal regarding the new set of CIA torture photos. National security hawks want to support it, transparency advocates oppose it. The next couple of days will see who wins.

[Post date: June 11, 2009]

See also Behind the Links, for further info on this subject.

Blogs: My general purpose/southwest focus blog is at Southwest Progressive. My creative website is at Making Good Mondays. And Carol Gee - Online Universe is the all-in-one home page for all my websites.

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