House Dems Vote to Allow Gitmo Transfers to U.S. (Rep. Jerry Lewis)

The U.S. House and Senate met yesterday to negotiate the final conference report on the fiscal year 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations bill. Even though both the House and Senate have previously overwhelmingly voted to prevent the transfer and release of Guantanamo detainees into the U.S., the conference report contains language allowing detainee transfers for the purpose of prosecution in U.S. criminal courts.

Consistent with previous votes taken by the House and Senate, my colleague, Homeland Appropriations Ranking Republican Hal Rogers, offered a motion to prohibit any Guantanamo detainee from being transferred onto U.S. soil for any reason, but House Democrats struck down the motion on a party line vote.

The Democrats in the conference committee have defied the will of Congress and the American people and have voted to allow terrorist detainees to be brought onto American soil at taxpayer expense. Instead of containing these dangerous terrorists – who were caught on the battlefield as prisoners of war and who pose risks to our national security – House Democrats have voted to treat these people as common criminals to be housed in U.S. prisons. Guantanamo detainees are dangerous enemies of the state, and we should not put the safety, security, and the peace of mind of the American people at risk by allowing them into our communities.