President Obama’s plan to close the federal prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, hit a major snag Monday as lawmakers finalizing the annual defense policy bill rejected steps to shut down the facility.
The final defense bill will not have a provision giving the president the power to transfer terror suspects to the U.S. if Congress signs off on the plan, said Sen. Carl Levin.
“Our language … [on Guantanamo] … will not be in,” Levin said.
Levin backed the authority for Obama to transfer the suspects and enthusiastically heralded it in May as the “path to close Guantanamo.”
The House and Senate are expected to vote and overwhelmingly approve the sweeping policy bill in the coming days, sending it to Obama.