Senate Takes Steps to Close Gitmo

GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA - JUNE 26: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been reviewed by the U.S. Military prior to transmission.) Razor wire is seen on the fence around Camp Delta which is part of the U.S. military prison for 'enemy combatants' on June 26, 2013 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. President Barack Obama has recently spoken again about closing the prison which has been used to hold prisoners from the invasion of Afghanistan and the war on terror since early 2002.
National Journal
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Stacy Kaper
Nov. 19, 2013, 3:26 p.m.

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.

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