WASHINGTON — A bill by Senate Democrats would fund the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but it would block the transfer of any of the detainees to the United States.
The move is aimed at sidestepping a political minefield that President Obama has confronted in his promise to close the military prison during his first year in office. Lawmakers of both parties have bristled at the notion of bringing Guantanamo terrorism suspects to detention facilities in the United States.
The development comes as the full House and a key Senate panel are poised to advance Obama's $85-billion request for military and diplomatic efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The request for $50 million to close the Guantanamo prison and transfer its detainees elsewhere has occupied many lawmakers -- especially Republicans -- even as others in Congress voice growing worries about the chances of defeating Al Qaeda and the Taliban militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.