Senate Blocks Funds for Gitmo Closure

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 20, 2009 11:55 AM CDT
Senate Blocks Funds for Gitmo Closure
Guantanamo detainees pray before dawn near a fence of razor-wire inside the exercise yard at Camp 4 detention facility, at Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base, Cuba.    (Brennan Linsley)

In a major rebuke to President Obama, the Senate voted overwhelmingly today to block the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the United States and denied the administration the millions it sought to close the prison. The 90-6 Senate vote, paired with a similar House action last week, was a clear sign to Obama that he faces a tough fight getting the Democratic-controlled Congress to agree with his plans to shut down the detention center and move the 240 detainees.

Last month, Obama asked for $80 million for the Pentagon and the Justice Department to close the facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by January, but the administration has yet to outline its plan for doing so. Obama is scheduled to give a major address tomorrow outlining in more detail his plans for Guantanamo, but it's already clear that Congress has little appetite for bringing detainees to US soil, even if the inmates would be held in maximum-security prisons. (More Guantanamo Bay stories.)

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