When I wrote about this several days ago, the Senate had passed the Graham-Lieberman secrecy law as an amendment to the spending supplemental bill (which includes funding for Iraq and Afghanistan) without even bothering to take a formal roll call vote (on a voice vote). Although the House version of the supplemental bill did not contain this amendment, it was widely expected that it would simply be inserted in the House-Senate conference and then easily passed along with the final bill.There are a lot of moving parts on this. The Blue Dogs don't want to pass the IMF provision, but they are for the war funding and secrecy provision. Some progressives are hostile to the war funding and the secrecy provision but not to the IMF. (The DICs prevail on that one.) I would assume that there are a handful who are hostile to all three. Evidently the process is very chaotic and nobody really knows what's going on. And that brings opportunity to influence the outcome.
But passage of Graham-Lieberman now appears much less certain because of what appears to be the refusal of some key liberal House Democrats -- including Barney Frank -- to support it. The votes of liberal House Democrats actually matter (for once) because most House Republicans are refusing to support the overall supplemental bill due to their objections to a provision for $5 billion in funding to increase the IMF's lending capacity. To pass the supplemental spending bill, House leaders need the votes of numerous House Democrats who are currently refusing to vote for anything that contains the photo suppression amendment. If Congressional Democrats succeed in blocking enactment of this amendment, that would be a critical assertion for the first time of Congressional checks on Obama's desired powers and would, independently, prevent a truly odious new secrecy power from being enacted.
Rahm Emanuel is exerting pressure on progressive members of Congress to switch their votes and help pass the supplemental bill. The bill would not only fund the war in Afghanistan, it would also include IMF funding and the Graham-Lieberman amendment, which allows the administration to block the release of detainee photos in response to FOIA requests.
If 39 Democrats commit to vote against the supplemental, it won't pass.
For once, the votes of progressive members of Congress actually matter when it comes to funding the war. But they are being heavily pressured by Democratic leadership to toe the line.
Call members of Congress and tell them to vote against the bill.
Our whip list includes Democrats who voted against the supplemental the first time, those who have expressed reservations about the IMF funding, and also those who don't want to see Lieberman's hideous amendment pass.
We could actually win this one.
You can find the Whip List here, which includes phone numbers and the place to let us know what you learn.