Virginia lawmakers to visit Guantanamo military prison

Moran last visited the prison in 2007. 

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Moran will be joined by fellow Virginia Democrats Rep. Gerry Connolly and Sen. Tim Kane, as well as Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), who has been a vocal advocate for keeping the detention center open. 

Wolf verbally agreed to travel with Moran to Cuba during the House Appropriations Committee's markup of the Commerce, Justice and Science spending bill on July 17.  

That said, the goal of Friday's trip, according to Moran, is to "raise awareness around the cost of detention ... and damage that [Guantanamo] inflicts on the reputation of the United States."

A recent Department of Defense assessment issued Wednesday put the annual cost to run and maintain the Guantanamo prison at $454 million. 

U.S. government has spent $4.7 billion to run the prison since 2002, military estimates state. 

“This is a massive waste of money,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in response to the Pentagon's cost analysis. 

Feinstein, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and White House chief of staff Denis McDonough visited the prison in early June. 

Their visit came shortly after President Obama renewed his administration's call to shutter the Pentagon's detention center in Cuba, noting its ineffectiveness in deterring terrorism. 

However, efforts to explore options to relocate terror suspects currently at Guantanamo to maximum security prisons inside the United States has met severe resistance on Capitol Hill. 

Supporters of the Guantanamo facility have beaten back multiple votes in Congress this year to move detainees onto U.S. soil or to Yemen, one of the countries where Obama wants to restart transfers.

In June, Moran failed to change language in the military construction spending bill for 2014 prohibiting funds from being used to expand U.S. prisons to house Guantanamo terror detainees. 

One of the main opponents to Moran's failed effort was Wolf. 

At the time, Wolf disagreed with Moran's argument that Guantanamo Bay promotes terrorism against the United States.

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

--story updated at 1:10pm