A U.S. Defense Department appropriations bill would give President Obama more
discretion to transfer Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detainees, the Senate sponsor said.
Senate Democrats were expected to unveil the $516 billion defense appropriations bill Tuesday, Politico reported.
Provisions designed to promote reforms that give more discretion to Obama concerning the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees reflect the influence of Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., who became chairman of the Appropriations Committee's defense subcommittee after the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii.
There has been a bipartisan push for change at the island facility following hunger strikes and forced feeding of detainees, coupled with the cost of maintaining the facility, Politico said.
"We are spending $2.7 million a year for each detainee held at Guantanamo Bay," Durbin said during a recent Judiciary Committee hearing. "This would be fiscally irresponsible during ordinary economic times but it's even worse when the Department of Defense is struggling to deal with the impact of sequestration, including the furloughs and cutbacks in training for our troops."
"Every day at Guantanamo Bay, dozens of detainees are being force fed, a practice the American Medical Association and the International Red Cross condemn and a federal judge in Washington recently found to be 'painful, humiliating and degrading.'"
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