House Republicans delay vote on McCain anti-torture amendment

[JURIST] House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) [official website] delayed a vote on a proposed torture ban on Thursday, while Democrats accused him of holding off in order to protect Vice President Dick Cheney. Democrats had planned on offering a motion with instructions to adopt the language of the McCain amendment, but a procedural move by Hastert has no one in place to follow the instructions. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wrote an amendment [JURIST document] to a military spending bill [JURIST report] that would ban "cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment" of detainees by US personnel. The White House wants the CIA excused from the rules [JURIST report] and has threatened a veto [JURIST report]. The amendment passed the Senate 90-9 and the spending bill as a whole was also approved [JURIST report]. House Republicans have previously joined the White House in opposing the bill [JURIST report]. A former state department official has accused Cheney of encouraging abuse [JURIST report], and the indictment of Cheney's chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [JURIST news archive] in connection with the CIA leak case [JURIST news archive] have led some Democrats to call the stall tactic a face-saving move. The New York Times has more.

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