The Senate on Tuesday approved the $133.9 billion fiscal 2010 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs spending bill after defeating a proposal that would have blocked funds in the measure or other previously passed bills from being used to construct facilities in the United States to hold detainees from the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, terrorist detention center.
The bill was approved 100-0, and the amendment, offered by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., was defeated 57-43.
Rejection of the Inhofe amendment comes after the Obama administration announced last week it will prosecute five individuals charged with committing the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in federal court in New York.
The Senate also approved, 98-1, an amendment offered by Senate Military Construction-VA Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., that would add $50 million to Veterans Affairs Department funding to renovate empty buildings to provide housing and services to homeless vets.
The amendment is offset by cutting $50 million from the Defense Department’s Homeowners Assistance Program, which the Pentagon has determined is not currently required, Johnson said. The program helps military and federal personnel whose homes have lost value because of a base closure.
The Senate approved by unanimous consent two other amendments, including a proposal by Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye to provide $68.5 million, redirected from fiscal 2009 funds, to build an Aegis missile defense test site at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on the western shores of Kaua’i, Hawaii.
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