Moving to avoid a bitter partisan feud, Senate Democratic leaders have decided to remove from a war spending bill the $80 million that President Obama had requested to close the detention center for terrorist suspects at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
House Democrats had already removed the money from their version of the $96.7 billion military spending measure, which will finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and some other national security programs through Sept. 30. It was overwhelmingly approved last week by the House.
The Senate had included the money in its version of the legislation, headed for a vote this week, but with tight restrictions that for now at least would have barred the transfer of prisoners to the United States.
Both the House and Senate had directed the White House to provide a more detailed plan for closing the detention center and relocating the more than 200 terror suspects still being held there. The Obama administration has announced plans to revive the military tribunals first proposed by the Bush administration, but lawmakers were still clamoring for more information about what would happen to the terror suspects after the Guantánamo prison was closed.