Dems Deny Obama Funds to Close Gitmo

House Democrats say president needs to come up with a plan first
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2009 2:19 AM CDT
A guard talks to a Guantanamo detainee in the open yard in Camp 4 detention center on the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, FILE)
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(Newser) – President Obama's request for $80 million to close Guantanamo Bay was cut from the House version of a war spending bill unveiled yesterday, CNN reports. Democratic lawmakers, whose bill totaled $94.2 billion, said if the president wants money to close Guantanamo Bay then he'll first have to come up with a plan for doing so.

The administration would be welcome to ask for the funds when it has a more concrete plan for closing the center and moving its prisoners, said Democratic House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin. A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denied there was any rift with the administration and said the House would continue to work with Obama toward closing the detention facility.