WASHINGTON, May 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate Wednesday voted to cut from a war spending bill $80 million allocated to close the military prison in Cuba and bar transfer of its detainees.
The 90-6 vote on the amendment came the day before President Barack Obama was scheduled to outline his plan for the 240 terrorism suspects still detained in the facility at Guantanamo Bay. The amendment also bars detainee transfers to the United States or its territories, The New York Times reported.
Democrats Tuesday removed the funding from the $91.3 billion emergency Iraq and Afghanistan spending bill moving through the Senate.
"The American people don't want these men walking the streets of America's neighborhoods," Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said. "The American people don't want these detainees held at a military base or federal prison in their back yard, either."
Democrats cast the six "no" votes.
FBI Director Robert Mueller told a House panel Wednesday he was concerned that Guantanamo detainees could fuel terrorism if sent to the United States.
Administration officials indicated that if the Guantanamo detention facility closed as planned in January, more than 100 prisoners may need to be relocated to the United States, including some described as too dangerous to release.
Of the 240 detainees, 30 have been cleared for release. While as many as 80 of the detainees will be prosecuted, it was unclear what will happen to those who convicted and sentenced to prison.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said Tuesday he and other Democrats changed direction after seeing the House version of the bill that didn't contain the funding.
"In looking at the position of the House, that was more logical," Reid said. "We have clearly said all along that we wanted a plan. We don't have a plan. And based on that, this is not the bill to deal with this."