The House Armed Services Committee voted early Thursday to approve a defense policy bill that blocks the Obama administration's proposal to close the military-run prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer its terror suspects to the U.S.
The committee voted 59-2 to approve the bill, which contains provisions dealing with the fate of the prison's remaining 166 prisoners, including a restriction on possible transfers to the U.S. or foreign countries with confirmed cases of transferred detainees returning to the fight.
Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., introduced an amendment to strike the provision restricting the transfer of detainees. The committee failed to pass Smith's amendment.
Obama renewed his 2008 campaign promise to close the Guantanamo prison in a May 23 speech at the National Defense University. He argued that the indefinite detentions with little prospect of charges or a trial flouts the rule of law and said terrorists have used the naval detention center as a recruiting tool.
Obama lifted the moratorium on transferring prisoners to Yemen and said their status would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. In Yemen this past weekend, officials said they were moving ahead on a facility to house any transfers from Guantanamo.
Republicans and several Democrats have repeatedly stymied the president's past efforts to close Guantanamo or transfer prisoners.
The bill would keep the naval detention center open by prohibiting the Defense Department from spending any money to construct or modify facilities in the United States to house terror suspects from Guantanamo. The restriction would apply from the bill's enactment through 2014.
The bill also allows the Pentagon to spend money to upgrade Guantanamo, including $247.4 million for military construction.
It also would bar the Pentagon from spending any money to transfer prisoners to the United States or a foreign country. The bill provides a waiver, but the Defense Department would have to make several certifications to Congress.
The full chamber is expected to vote on the bill this summer and then work out differences when the Democratic-run Senate passes its version.
Fox News' Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.