Republican members of the House and Senate on Monday urged President Barack Obama to reveal photos of the fallen soldiers who were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, calling it an urgent matter.
“The families of those fallen soldiers deserve the truth about what happened,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI).
“The families deserve answers about what went wrong and how these fallen soldiers died.”
A number of Republicans have raised concerns that releasing the images would further infuriate grieving families, as well as further alienate Republican allies in the White House.
Republican Sen. Mike Rounds (R, S.D.) said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that “the American people are not comfortable with this.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) told “Face The Nation” he would push for the President to release the photographs as soon as possible.
But House Speaker John Boehner (R), who chairs the powerful Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he would wait until the families were provided with the images, as the families are “the most important element of the process” for making the decision about releasing them.
The military is expected to release at least 30 images of the soldiers killed in action, according to the military, and the photos will likely be released at some point during the week, after which they will be made available to the families.
The families have until Tuesday to file a request for release of the images to the Army, which is supposed to release them in two weeks.
Boehner told reporters that “there are many reasons why the families should be concerned.”
But he noted that the Army has been “very clear that they will not release the pictures until the family has the opportunity to have the opportunity.”
The White House on Monday released a statement saying that the families of the deceased soldiers would be provided with information regarding their request for the images.
“While the Army is not able to provide the families with information until the time that the photographs are made public, we understand the families desire for privacy in this sensitive time,” the statement read.
“The White is also committed to transparency, and will continue to release these photos and information to the American people.”
“As the families have indicated, we expect that the release of these photographs will not be public until the Army releases them,” the White White House added.
“And that time will not come until the military releases all of the photographs of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.”
A senior White House official, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, told ABC News on Monday that releasing these photographs would “seriously complicate” the grieving families.
“It’s a difficult thing for families to process, and they’re dealing with the grief of losing loved ones,” the official said.
“So it’s really important that the family is given the opportunity and time to process and process and be given the information.”
In the weeks leading up to the announcement, Republican senators have voiced concerns about releasing the photos, as has Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.).
But the White the administration has said it will release the photos after the families requests are made.
“We do not intend to release any photographs until the American families are provided with that information,” the administration said in a statement to ABC News.
“In light of the fact that we have released the photographs and are waiting to receive the information, we believe that it would be premature to comment further.”ABC News’ Matt Lee contributed to this report.