The U.S. Senate has passed a bill establishing guidelines for the questioning and prosecution of terror suspects.
The House of Representatives passed a similar measure Wednesday and is expected to approve the Senate version before the end of the week, sending it to President Bush for his signature.
Earlier today, the Senate, in a close vote, rejected an amendment that would have granted suspects the right to legally challenge their detention in U.S. courts, a right known as habeas corpus. The amendment was supported by Democrats and a senior Republican Senator Arlen Specter.
President Bush says the bill is vital because it gives U.S. authorities wide latitude in interrogating detainees and sets up military tribunals to try them.
Opposition Democrats have said that the bill allows unfair trials and abusive interrogations.
In the lead up to the vote, Democratic Senator Harry Reid from the state of Nevada said history would judge the bill a grave error.
Republican Senator John McCain defended the bill. He said it excludes evidence against detainees obtained from illegal interrogation techniques. Mr. McCain is a former prisoner of war in Vietnam. He and other Republican senators won an agreement from President Bush that the bill will abide by the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of detainees.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that President Bush would need congressional approval to create military tribunals.