House subcommittee denies Guantanamo closure funds to DOJ

[JURIST] The US House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies [official websites] on Thursday denied the $60 million requested by President Barack Obama for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detention facility by approving a draft bill [opening statement, PDF] funding the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] for fiscal year 2010 that did not include the requested funds. The draft cleared the committee [CQ Politics report] on a voice vote after restrictions on the transfer of detainees were attached. The funding could be released [AFP report] when Obama presents a detailed plan on detainee release to Congress. Though Republican members of the subcommittee criticized increased spending [press release] as "excessive and unsustainable," Republicans have consistently opposed the transfer of detainees. Last month, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) [official website] introduced the Keep Terrorists Out of America Act [text], which would require the approval of state governors and legislatures prior to the transfer of any Guantanamo detainees.

On Thursday, the Council of the European Union [official website] agreed [press release; JURIST report] on parameters for the acceptance of released detainees, concluding that those member states that are willing to receive released detainees should only accept those who are cleared for release, do not face prosecution in the US, and have compelling reasons not to return to their home countries. The US Senate [official website] last month approved an amendment [JURIST report] eliminating $80 million from pending legislation intended to fund the closure of Guantanamo Bay.

 

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