Senate heads toward Gitmo showdown

The Senate on Thursday lurched closer to an all-but-inevitable showdown over the funding of the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as Republicans signaled they will offer floor amendments to block the money as expected.

At a mark-up meeting of the full Appropriations Committee, chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) revealed he has included $80 million in the supplemental to close the controversial prison and transfer the prisoners. Inouye also asked Republicans on the committee not to offer amendments until the bill clears the committee and reaches the Senate floor.

Committee member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said he would do so, but made it clear a fight is coming. Echoing a common criticism of Senate Republicans this week, Shelby said it is irresponsible to close the prison until the Obama administration develops a plan for the prisoners.

"It is misguided to close a facility housing terrorists when there is no plan," Shelby said. "The prisoners housed at Guantanamo are terrorists. They attacked our nation and killed our citizens and pose a threat to our national security."

- J. Taylor Rushing

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