Democrats Reach Agreement on War Funding Bill
By Perry Bacon Jr.
Congressional Democrats today reached agreement on a war-funding bill that had been stalled, as the Obama administration dropped its request for a provision that would bar the release of photos that show abuse of detainees in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The agreement was reached only after a letter from President Obama to a congressional committee saying that his administration would appeal to the Supreme Court to keep the photos from becoming public, rather than try for a Congressional ban as part of the war funding bill. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on Thursday stayed an earlier order that the photos be released immediately, so the government will now have time to appeal.
The photos, which the American Civil Liberties Union sued to release, had become a subject of contention between House Democrats and the president, who has said they would inflame anti-American opinion if they were released.
The war funding bill now appears on its way to passage next week.
Congressional Democrats earlier in the day reached an agreement to allow detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to be held in the United States for trial.
The bill includes more than $90 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Posted at 8:11 PM ET on Jun 11, 2009
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