Expansion of prisons to house Gitmo detainees rejected in House

The House on Tuesday evening defeated a Democratic attempt to let the government spend money to expand U.S. prisons so they can house terrorist suspects now held in Guantánamo Bay.

Rep. Jim MoranJim MoranHouse Dem: Congress needs 'courage' to call for its own pay raise House may resume work on spending bills next week Bottom Line MORE (D-Va.) proposed an amendment to the military construction spending bill for 2014 that would kill language prohibiting funds from being used to expand U.S. prisons for this purpose.

Language in the bill, H.R. 2216, holds that "none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of Defense in this Act may be used to construct, renovate, or expand any facility in the United States, its territories, or possessions to house any individual detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for the purposes of detention or imprisonment in the custody or under the control of the Department of Defense."

Moran urged members to support his amendment to strike this language. Aside from arguing that holding terrorist suspects in Cuba does not meet U.S. standards of justice, he said there are other reasons why it is better for the United States to hold them in the country.

"The best place for them to be housed and then tried is in the United States," he said. "The continuance of the Guantánamo Bay facility represents an immediate security threat to the United States because it is a rallying cry and a recruitment tool for our enemy."

Republicans rejected Moran's proposal and his arguments for it, allowing it to fail in a 170-254 vote. Every Republican save one voted against the amendment, and Democrats were split 169-25 in favor.

"The prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, quite frankly, are being treated much more leniently than I think they should be," Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) said.

Rep. Frank WolfFrank Wolf10 most expensive House races Benghazi Report and Hillary: What it means for Philadelphia Lobbying World MORE (R-Va.) also opposed it and disagreed with Moran's argument that Guantánamo Bay promotes terrorism against the United States.

"Guantánamo Bay prison was not there when 9/11 took place," Wolf said, adding that it's a "hoax" to say the prison in Cuba is promoting terrorism.

The detainee amendment was one of several the House considered Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday evening. Brief descriptions follow here on amendments from:

Paul BrounPaul BrounCalifornia lawmaker's chief of staff resigns after indictment Republican candidates run against ghost of John Boehner The Trail 2016: Let’s have another debate! MORE (R-Ga.), cutting $38 million for NATO's new headquarters in Brussels and using the money for deficit reduction. Failed 151-269.

— Broun, cutting $200 million from a NATO security investment program and using the money for deficit reduction. Rejected in voice vote.

Morgan GriffithMorgan GriffithOvernight Healthcare: Official hints at talks with ObamaCare insurers | Companies brace for 'Cadillac tax' Official hints at settlement talks with ObamaCare insurers House Republicans pitch internal rules changes MORE (R-Va.), requiring repairs at the homes of general and flag officers to be reported to Congress if they are above $15,000, not $35,000. Approved in voice vote.

Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerOvernight Finance: House GOP grills IRS chief on impeachment | Bipartisan anger over Iran payment | Fed holds rates steady but hints at coming hike Panel votes to extend nuclear power tax credit DEA decision against reclassifying marijuana ignores public opinion MORE (D-Ore.), requiring that no less than $35 million of the medical and prosthetic research account goes toward research on post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Approved in voice vote.

Pete GallegoPete P. GallegoTrump campaign's taco truck gaffe underscores Latinos' political power Dem tensions explode in Hispanic Caucus over Trump GOP super-PAC ties vulnerable House Dems to Hillary MORE (D-Texas), reallocating $5 million from general operating expenses to support veterans job training. Approved in voice vote.

Mark AmodeiMark AmodeiBush backers flock to Rubio Rubio rolls out endorsements on eve of Nevada caucus Nevada congressman backs Rubio MORE (R-Nev.), reallocating $44 million to speed up veterans disability claims. Passed 248-172.

— John Culberson (R-Texas), requiring that none of the funds be obligated or expended for the development of an electronic health record except, for a health record as set forth in the Joint Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2013-2015 of the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense, Joint Executive Council. Approved in voice vote.

Sam FarrSam FarrDEA decision against reclassifying marijuana ignores public opinion 19 House Democrats' sites hacked at close of gun sit-in Dems push for allowing base closures MORE (D-Calif.), prohibiting the use of funds to enforce rules saying VA providers can't seek recommendations on veterans' participation in state marijuana programs. Withdrawn.

Alan GraysonAlan GraysonTrump campaign's taco truck gaffe underscores Latinos' political power Dem polling shows Rubio in a dead heat Canova refuses to congratulate Wasserman Schultz on victory MORE (D-Fla.), prohibiting the use of funds to award contracts to bidders who were convicted or faced civil penalties for fraud, theft or other crimes. Approved in voice vote.

— Jon Runyan (R-N.J.), prohibiting the use of funds to plan or execute another round of base closures. Approved in voice vote.

— Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.), prohibiting the use of funds to award contracts above $1 million when the government does not receive at least two offers. Approved in voice vote.

— Lee Terry (R-Neb.), prohibiting use of funds to boost funding for major medical facilities under construction. Approved in voice vote.

— Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), prohibiting the use of funds to lease or buy new light duty vehicles unless they meet the Obama administration's fuel efficiency guidelines. Approved in voice vote.

— Murphy, prohibiting the use of funds for improving property that is not being used. Approved in voice vote.

— Steve King (R-Iowa), prohibiting the use of funds to enforce labor wage rules under the Davis-Bacon Act. Failed 192-231.