Agence France-Presse 
Friday, May 15, 2009
Money to transfer Gitmo prisoners not included in war funds.
The US House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a 96.7-billion-dollar measure to pay for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars through October 1 as well as aid ally Pakistan.
Lawmakers passed the bill, which also included two billion dollars to prepare for fighting an influenza pandemic, by a lopsided 368-60 margin.
The measure did not include President Barack Obama’s request for 80 million dollars to close the prison for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, amid congressional concerns about what to do with the detainees there.
The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a 91.3 billion dollar version of the measure that includes the monies, but with tight restrictions forbidding their use to transfer or free any detainees on US soil.
After the full Senate votes, the two chambers will reconcile their rival versions to send a final bill to Obama.
The House bill includes 400 million dollars to help build up the Pakistani security forces’ ability to wage counterinsurgency warfare at a time when US lawmakers worry about the nuclear-armed ally’s stability.
And it includes another 600 million dollars in economic development aid to Pakistan and to improve education and democratic reforms there.