Remember the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba?
It was just a year ago that the question of how to close the detention center sparked a furor in Congress, with Democratic leaders demanding direction from President Barack Obama on the placement of the prison’s inhabitants: suspected terrorists awaiting trial.
But these days, the issue has been all but forgotten on Capitol Hill, where leading Democrats say other issues have taken precedence and Republicans accuse the president of dropping the ball. In the meantime, the administration has yet to make a strong enough case to lawmakers about sending the detainees to an Illinois state prison as a means to closing the facility — an Obama campaign pledge.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) acknowledged Tuesday that the urgency of the issue has subsided in the face of other pressing matters, namely the economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.