Obama has been trying to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay since being sworn in as president and now he’s running out of time. Would it be surprising for him to just go around congress?
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Obama’s Gitmo Workaround
President Obama is about to send Congress a doomed plan to close the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay, so he can then shut down Gitmo the way he does nearly anything—by executive order.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest repeated the familiar drill Wednesday. They “work with Congress where we can,” Mr. Earnest said. “But if Congress continues to refuse, I wouldn’t rule out the President using every element of his authority to make progress.”
Another day at the office for a progressive President intent on reducing the legislative branch to a nullity. For the record, the National Defense Authorization Act this year contains an explicit congressional ban on transferring detainees to the U.S. through 2016.
The White House, meanwhile, says the only way Guantanamo can close is if its prisoners are transferred to facilities inside the U.S. The Pentagon, at White House direction, has explored placing Gitmo prisoners at the U.S. Naval Consolidated Brig in South Carolina; at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas; and in the federal supermax prison in Colorado. Not surprisingly, Members of Congress from these states don’t want to do this.
Here’s the exchange with Josh Earnest mentioned above:
As you can imagine, there’s been some psh back on this idea.
Roll Call reports:
Republicans Warn White House on Gitmo Closure
Opponents of moving Guantánamo detainees to the U.S. mainland are firing a new round of warning shots ahead of an Obama administration plan regarding closing the facility.
Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., told reporters Thursday he could hold up as many nominations as needed to try to thwart implementation of any executive actions on transferring individuals held at the prison facility at the naval base to the United States.
“This administration has continually gone around the Congress and tried to figure out which button to push to irritate Congress the most,” Roberts said. “Well, he sure as hell has pushed my button. As I have said for years and years, we are not going to have terrorists from Gitmo come to Fort Leavenworth, the intellectual center of the Army, or any other location in the United States. That will not work. We will not let that happen.”
If President Barack Obama is going to use an executive order that runs afoul of the legislative intent of lawmakers, “Why do we even have a Congress?”
That’s an excellent question.
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