The Senate approved two key amendments to the wartime spending bill tonight, which have significant implications for the Guantanamo Bay detainee conundrum.
One amendment offered by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) requires the Obama administration to have classified briefings with members of Congress on all of the 240 Guantanamo Bay detainees “not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and every 90 days thereafter,” the amendment said. It passed with 92 senators voting in the affirmative, and only Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin (Ill.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.) and Roland Burris opposing.
“…The President would have to report to Congress before–I repeat, before–releasing any of the detainees at Guantanamo,” McConnell said on the floor yesterday. “More specifically, the administration would have to certify that any detainee it wishes to release prior to submitting this report poses no risk–no risk–to American military personnel stationed around the world.”
Dovetailing with the McConnell amendment was one offered by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), which requires the Obama administration to notify local authorities before any Guantanamo Bay detainees would be transferred to the United States. It passed 94-0.
We previously reported that the Senate passed another Guantanamo Bay related amendment to the wartime spending bill today that removes the $80 million that was requested to close the Guantanamo Bay military prison until President Obama comes up with a plan.