The Senate on Tuesday voted in favor of taking steps toward closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.
The chamber voted 43-55 to reject an amendment from Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., that would have stripped out provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act that would make it easier to transfer detainees to foreign countries and to the U.S. for trials or medical treatment.
Those provisions to ease detainee transfers were authored in the bill by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., who favors the administration’s goal of closing Gitmo.
The Senate also rejected, 52-46, an amendment from Levin and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.,that would have required the administration to submit a comprehensive plan to Congress before it could transfer any detainees to the U.S. and ensure that detainees would not gain any additional legal rights as a result of their transfer to the U.S.
The Senate action sets the stage for a fight with the House, which has included language in its defense authorization bill to keep Gitmo open for indefinite detentions.