GOP Wants Tough Restrictions for Guantánamo Bay Prisoners

Posted May 7, 2009 at 12:23pm

House Republican leaders unveiled legislation Thursday that would impose strict restrictions on prisoners brought to the U.S. from the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility.

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) reiterated his opposition to bringing the detainees into the U.S. He also once again charged that the Obama administration’s decision to close the prison is politically motivated.

“If the administration proceeds with their current plan, they won’t be [at Guantánamo Bay], in fact they may be here in the United States,— Boehner said. “Today we are introducing legislation to ensure that they are not imported into the United States.—

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, criticized the White House for failing to release a plan to deal with the detainees.

“The president has set a goal, but over the last three months, he has never put together a plan to achieve this goal as much as we are opposed to moving these individuals into the United States and as much as we see this as a risk if the president is going to continue to have a concrete plan that involves the American people,— Hoekstra said.

The Republican bill titled the Keep Terrorists Out of America Act requires that the White House get approval from a state’s governor and legislature before transferring any detainees there. It also includes a set of presidential certification requirements that must be provided to Congress before a detainee is transferred or released into the U.S.

Among the requirements are that the name of the detainee be provided along with the location of the transfer. They also ask that evidence be provided that the transfer or release of the detainee will not negatively impact continued prosecution or detention.

“In its simplest terms, this bill requires a conversation with the American people, as to why these releases or detentions are proper and what we are doing as a nation to ensure that we keep them safe,— said Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.), ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee.