Congress votes to ban transfer of Guantanamo detainees to US

FILE – In this March 30, 2010 file photo, reviewed by the U.S. military, a U.S. trooper stands in the turret of a vehicle with a machine gun, left, as a guard looks out from a tower at the detention facility of Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba. The House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a revised $607 billion defense policy bill that restricts President Barack Obama's efforts to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has passed a $607 billion defense bill that bans moving Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States — something Barack Obama has been trying to do since he was sworn in as president.

The Senate’s vote of 91 to 3 gave final legislative approval to the measure. The House has already passed it with a veto-proof majority, 370-58.

Obama does not like the Guantanamo provisions. But so far, the White House has not threatened to veto the bill.

The legislation has become a lightning rod for debate over whether the president needs congressional approval to move some of the remaining 112 detainees from the U.S. detention center in Cuba to the United States, or if he could do it with an executive order.

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