Once again, politicians from President Obama’s own party have derailed his plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center by 2010. This time the opposition to the President’s radical plans came from Democrats in the Senate.
Fox News reports:
The Senate voted on Wednesday to yank money for closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp from a war spending bill, delivering a setback to President Obama in his efforts to shutter the prison by the start of 2010.
By a vote of 90-6, the Senate approved an amendment that not only blocks supplemental funds from being used to close Guantanamo and move detainees to U.S. soil, but also orders that no funds already in U.S. coffers be redirected toward that purpose.
Sen. Dan Inouye, D-Hawaii, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said the vote to strip the $80 million Obama had wanted should not be seen as a rebuke to the administration but a “wake up call.”
He said it is “up to the administration to fashion a plan that can win the support of the American people and members of Congress.”
The vote was 90 to 6! This is a Democrat-controlled senate and they totally killed President Obama’s plan. Not only did they kill it, they passed blocking funds to be used for transferring prisoners to the United States. Thank you to all 90 senators who voted against the President!
In a predictable move, President Obama will be heading to the teleprompter to make his case:
Obama is trying to do exactly that with a speech Thursday meant to shed light on how the administration expects to transfer 240 detainees off the island. He wants to keep Democratic unrest from derailing his plans to close the detention camp.
The speech already appears to be overdue, considering the resistance and mixed messages coming from top-ranking Democrats over the issue on Capitol Hill.
Quite amazing how there is bi-partisan support against the President:
The amendments complicating Guantanamo closure don’t stop there. This afternoon, the Senate is expected to vote on an amendment from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that would mandate a U.S. threat assessment for every single detainee at Gitmo.
Such votes make assurances from Obama Thursday all the more important.
Democrats had been hammered by Republicans, some of whom don’t want Guantanamo shuttered at all, over the possibility that detainees could be sent to live in the United States — in prisons or otherwise.
Democrats agreed with that line Tuesday, when they first decided to pull $80 million from the war funding bill for the closure plan proposed by the president. They told the administration the money could be forthcoming, once the president presents a plan, that is now expected to be enacted in just seven months.
For once, congress on both sides is standing up for America against President Obama in keeping these terrorists off United States soil. This will force the Obama administration to come up with a real plan, not just lofty intentions of closing Gitmo with no exit strategy. Funny, I think I’ve heard Democrats complain about someone else’s lack of an exit strategy.