US Senate Blocks Guantanamo Detainee Transfer, Camp Closure Funds
The US Senate voted 90-6 on Wednesday to reject the planned transfer of 240 detainees from Guantanamo Bay and refused the $80 million funding request Obama's administration had previously made to close down the prison camp.
The move would have seen the detainees relocated from Gitmo to US detention facilities but Republican senators such as John Thune fought back, stating that "American people don't want these men walking the streets of America's neighbourhoods."
Despite the setbacks, Obama still plans to close Guantanamo Bay by January 2010.
Senators voted by 90-6 to block the transfer of 240 inmates, also stalling a request for $80m (£51m).
Correspondents say it is a rebuke to President Barack Obama's plans to close down the camp by January 2010.
Meanwhile, FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress detainees could support terror in the US if allowed to go free.
PREVIOUSLY — U.S. Democratic senators voted overwhelmingly to refuse President Obama the $80 million his administration had requested to shut down the controversial Guantanamo Bay detention center.
The money had been earmarked for a Senate war funding bill, that would allow "the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice to begin shutting down the prison".
The decision comes as Senate Democrats became reluctant to face "an onslaught of criticism from Republicans" who have been adamantly opposed to closing the prison "prematurely".
Democratic leaders made the decision Tuesday morning, according to two Senate Democratic leadership sources. It is a blow to President Obama who announced, as one of his first official duties as president, that he would close the base by next January 22.
Republicans have argued it would be reckless to shutter the prison before the Obama administration has decided where to transfer the terrorism suspects who are detained there.
The Senate war supplemental bill, which is scheduled to be voted on this week, included $80 million for the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice to begin the process of shutting down the prison.