The U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, would be a critical piece of President Trump's plans to detain some of the more than 400 Islamic State terrorists now held by U.S.-backed Syrian and Iraqi forces, but House Democrats are calling for a ban on the construction of a High Value Detainee Complex at the facility. (Associated Press/File)

Congress is readying for a fight over the future of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as members of the House and Senate defense panels draft their versions of the Pentagon[1]’s budget for the coming fiscal year.

Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee have staked out their position on Guantanamo Bay in proposals attached to their $708.1 billion version of the fiscal 2019 defense spending bill. Released Friday, their plan would prevent the full closure of Guantanamo and continue the long-standing congressional ban on transferring detainees to prisons on U.S. soil.

But House Democrats also are calling for a ban on “the construction of a new High Value Detainee Complex” at the detention facility. The complex would be a critical piece of the Trump White House[2]’s plans to prepare the 9/11-era military prison to detain some of the more than 400 Islamic State terrorists currently held by U.S.-backed Syrian and Iraqi forces.

House Republicans on the defense committee generally support the White House[3] plan, but they did not specifically address Guantanamo’s future in their $717 billion version of the Pentagon[4]’s spending package. Committee staffers with the Republican majority declined to comment Friday as to why.

“There is no change to [Guantanamo] policy” in the Republican version of the spending bill, a committee staffer told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, meanwhile, plan to hammer out the details of the Defense Department’s fiscal 2019 spending package behind closed doors this month. All of the Senate defense panel’s subcommittee markups and full committee markups will be closed to the public, committee staffers announced Thursday.

Aside from Guantanamo, members of the House defense panel are pushing to block any foreign military sales to Turkey. The language in the House draft would bar the White House[5] and the Pentagon[6] from taking “any action to execute the delivery of a foreign military sale for major defense equipment” to Ankara pending Pentagon[7] review of the “increasing strains” of Washington’s ties with the NATO ally.

Turkey and the U.S. have been at odds since Washington’s decision to back Kurdish militias in Syria[8] and Iraq. Ankara characterizes the militias as terrorist groups.

Turkey also strained U.S. relations after tentatively agreeing to purchase Russian S-400 anti-missile systems rather than American-made weaponry....

On the domestic side, House Democrats are calling for $117 billion to restore military readiness among the services. The majority of the funds would go toward U.S. fighters and warships, which have been plagued by fatal accidents over the past several months.The Air National Guard on Thursday identified nine officers and senior airmen who died Wednesday in a C-130 cargo aircraft crash in Savannah, Georgia. The flight crew was taking the aging aircraft on its final flight before retiring it.Overworked ships pressed into service in

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