He has already missed his own self-imposed deadline, and President Obama’s plans to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, suffered more setbacks last week when lawmakers on both sides of the Capitol took steps to block him.
On Friday the full House voted 282-131 to prevent Mr. Obama from transferring any of the detainees being held at Guantanamo to the United States, while the Senate Armed Services Committee passed a bill Thursday stopping Mr. Obama from buying a new prison to house the detainees.
“We can’t stop every terrorist from coming to the United States but we can stop the ones that are coming from Guantanamo,” said Rep. Randy J. Forbes, the Virginia Republican who offered the amendment in the House that prohibits any detainee from being moved to the U.S.
Mr. Obama made closing the prison a key goal of his presidential campaign, and two days after taking office he signed an executive order halting trials by military commission and requiring the prison to be closed “no later than 1 year from the date of this order.”
The administration has said it cannot close the facility until there is a prison in the U.S. that can handle the detainees – and that requires congressional approval to purchase a prison.