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U.S. House delays vote on torture ban

UPI | November 4 2005

The U.S. House Republican leadership has postponed a vote on a proposed ban against cruel, degrading treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody.

Democrats call the move an effort to spare Vice President Dick Cheney an embarrassing defeat, The New York Times said Friday.

House Democrats, led by Rep. John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania, had planned to offer a motion this week to endorse language in a military spending bill, written by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., that would prohibit abusive treatment of terror suspects.

The Senate approved the language 90-9 last month but the White House has threatened to veto any bill containing the provision, saying it would restrict the president's ability to fight terrorism and protect the country.

In negotiations led by Cheney, the White House wants the Central Intelligence Agency exempted from the proposed ban.

While not binding, the motion would pressure conferees to finish the underlying $453 billion military spending bill by next week.

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