The president failed the first time he promised to close America’s island gulag, but heading into the fourth month of a hunger strike by prisoners there, Obama renewed his commitment Tuesday to shuttering the facility.
President Obama spoke on Thursday to clean up the “mess” that Guantanamo Bay has become and stood firmly by his decision to close the detention center. The speech came after the Senate voted 90-6 to block $80 million for shutting down Gitmo. Meanwhile, across town, former Vice President Dick Cheney gave a speech harshly criticizing Obama’s actions and defending the anti-terrorism policies of the Bush administration.
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 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.