Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteOvernight Defense: NATO expanding troops in Iraq Overnight Defense: New START extended for five years | Austin orders 'stand down' to tackle extremism | Panel recommends Biden delay Afghanistan withdrawal Study group recommends Biden delay Afghanistan withdrawal MORE (R-N.H.) said President Obama is releasing Guantánamo Bay detainees without considering the consequences.

“We’re doing material harm to our national security efforts by purging the Guantánamo Bay facility,” Chambliss said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “We know these individuals are returning to the fight.”


One of Obama’s campaign promises in 2008 was to shut down the detention facility in Cuba where the terrorists are held. He has transferred several detainees to the United States and other countries for trials.

Ayotte said the growing threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria proves the need for a detention facility outside the United States.

“The need for this detention facility has actually become more apparent,” Ayotte said. “Now is not the time to be closing the facility at Guantánamo.”

The senators made the comments as Congress is set to reauthorize the National Defense Authorization Act. The bicameral deal dropped a Senate provision that would have allowed the transfer of Gitmo detainees to the United States if Congress agreed to shut down the facility.

A Senate vote on the defense spending bill is expected next week. Ayotte said she was "troubled" that there won't be any amendment votes.