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Senate to Unveil $516B Defense Appropriations Bill; Dick Durbin Comments

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Capitol_BuildingThe U.S. Senate is expected to introduce a $516 billion defense funding bill Tuesday that includes a provision aimed at giving President Obama discretion to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees, Politico reported Monday.

David Rogers writes bipartisan lawmakers urged reforms at the detention facility in Cuba because of high maintenance costs, forced-feeding practices and hunger strikes.

“We are spending $2.7 million a year for each detainee held at Guantanamo Bay,” Senator Dick 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,” Durbin added.

Durbin, who chairs the defense appropriations panel, has criticized the “status quo” on Guantanamo policies, the report says.

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