President Barack Obama’s penchant for last-minute demands, and a rebellion by liberal allies over his efforts to block the release of detainee abuse photos, have combined to sidetrack his bill to pay for an expanded war in Afghanistan as well as continuing military operations in Iraq.
The $100 billion measure is awaiting a House-Senate conference committee after winning easy approval last month in both chambers, but an emerging compromise on the bill has become caught in the crosscurrents coming from both Obama’s left and right on Capitol Hill.
About 50 House liberals opposed to the war voted against the bill last month when the measure passed on a 368-60 tally. But even though liberals such as Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., can stomach reversing course and vote for the war money, they’re drawing the line at Obama’s bid to exempt detainee abuse photos from the Freedom of Information Act.
Some House Democrats are opposed to the IMF funding as well. There’s also grumbling in the House over about $500 million obtained by the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, to restore barrier islands destroyed by Hurricane Katrina along his state’s coastline.