Ayotte amendment stops Gitmo detainee transfers

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) introduced a measure that would prohibit the transfer of “dangerous” Guantanamo Bay detainees as an amendment to the “minibus” spending bill being considered in the Senate.

“This amendment is focused on making sure that the terrorists held at Guantanamo … are not put in a position where they can get back in the fight,” Ayotte said on the Senate floor Thursday. “It’s just a matter of common sense.”

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Ayotte’s amendment is a response to the administration’s trade of five Taliban leaders detained at Gitmo in exchange for U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl. She said she was “deeply concerned about the national security implications” of the prisoner swap.

The administration is already suppose to give lawmakers a 30-day notice before the transfers or releases of detainees, but it failed to do so in the "Taliban Five" case.

Her amendment would prevent the administration from transferring or releasing detainee deemed as too “dangerous.” She said it would also end detainee transfers to countries that who haven’t “honored their commitment” in the past.

On Thursday, the Senate officially began considering H.R. 4660, a legislative vehicle for the $120 billion “minibus” spending bill that funds the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. But progress has stalled because leaders haven’t reach an agreement on how to handle amendments.

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