As promised, Senate Democrats on Wednesday denied President Obama funds to close Guantanamo Bay. J. Taylor Rushing has the story:
Voting 90-6, the Senate stripped $80 million from a supplemental military funding bill, $50 million of which was designated to close the controversial prison and $30 million for a Justice Department investigation into interrogation techniques used there.
The amendment by Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Oklahoma Republican James Inhofe - both of whom have personally toured the prison - actually goes beyond the military supplemental to deny the administration any past money it could use to close the prison and transfer the prisoners into America.
The language reads, "None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act or any prior Act may be used to transfer, release or incarcerate any individual who was detained as of May 19, 2009 at Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to or within the United States."
Inouye was emphatic that Democrats still believe the prison should close, and that his amendment is only a "reality check" on the administration's intent to close it without a plan for the detainees being held there.
"This amendment is not a referendum on closing Guantanamo," Inouye said. "Instead, it should serve as a reality check since at this time the administration has not yet forwarded a coherent plan on foreclosing this prison."