AVOIDANCE

Dems Punt on $100B War Bill

When the boss is away, the underlings--avoid voting on laws? Politico reports that, due to fear that the bill would fare poorly in the House, Congressional Democrats are postponing action on a $100 billion war spending bill until next week, when President Obama returns. The administration thinks it can reconcile criticism from the left and right, and Democratic leadership seems to think another week of talks could smooth over the bill's rough edges. "For this confident young White House, which so prides itself on juggling many balls at once, the delay is a humbling reminder of just how complex the low-profile appropriations process can be," notes Politico. It was, after all, an appropriations bill that killed Obama's plan to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay--and that continues to delay spending for Afghanistan and Iraq, Pakistan allegiances, swine flu recourse, and a host of terror-related efforts. Particularly at issue is the White House's recent decision to bar the release of detainee photographs, raising the ire of liberal Democrats who Obama can usually count on to push his causes, even in his absence.