Democrats Block Funds to Close Gitmo
Posted on May 19, 2009
On Tuesday, even before the Republicans had the chance to do it, Senate Democrats blocked $80 million allocated for the closure of Guantanamo Bay in a supplemental war bill approved by the Appropriations Committee last week. The decision comes as a blow to President Obama, whose plan to shut the base by next January had given him major popularity points. Despite this new funding cut, plans to close the base will move forward.
The Senate war supplemental bill, which is scheduled to be voted on this week, included $80 million for the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice to begin the process of shutting down the prison.
Now, that money will be stripped out and replaced with language saying no funds can be used to transfer detainees from Guantanamo, a military installation in Cuba, to the United States and no additional money will be approved until 60 days after the president submits to Congress his plan to close the facility. That language is similar to a provision in the House bill.
AP photo / Mary Altaffer
Protesters dressed as prisoners stage a demonstration in Manhattan against the Guantanamo Bay detentions in January 2007.