GOP Warns of Safety 'Gamble' in Closing Gitmo

House and Senate Republicans said it was irresponsible for President Obama to close the Naval detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, arguing that Obama is taking a "gamble" with Americans' safety.

"We should not gamble with the safety and security of the American people and our troops on the battlefield," House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement following Obama's signing of an executive order forcing the closure of the base within a year.

The executive order, one of several issued by the Obama administration to reverse the preceding Bush administration's work, marks another issue on which Republican opposition has begun to crystalize.

"In my opinion, it is safer for the American people to keep committed terrorists at a secure facility hundreds of miles away from our shores rather than in facilities located in or near American communities," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday.

Both Republican leaders did leave room for negotiations with the new president, though.

"I am committed to working with the new Commander in Chief to ensure that the symbolism of the Executive Order directing the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay does not lead to action that imperils the American people, either through the release of terrorists on American soil or into the wider world," McConnell said.

Stated Boehner: "Republicans want to work with our President to address these national security concerns, ... but It would be irresponsible to close this terrorist detainee facility until these important questions are answered."

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