McCain expects Pentagon plan on closing Gitmo

Francis Rivera

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Thursday that Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has pledged to come forward with a plan to close the U.S. prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

“I talked to him this morning and he said a plan would be forthcoming,” said McCain, who leads the Armed Services Committee.

{mosads}The Arizonan Republican spearheaded a defense policy bill, which passed the Senate earlier Thursday, that would give the administration a path to close the controversial Cuban facility — if it can win congressional approval.

The administration has threatened to veto the legislation.

It calls the process for winning congressional approval of closing Guantánamo “unnecessary and overly restrictive.”

McCain couldn’t give a timeline for when he expected to receive a plan, but said that Carter and Lisa Monaco, an assistant to Obama on homeland security and counterterrorism, first told him during meetings in his office three weeks ago that they “would be bringing forth a plan.”

“The President asked me over to the White House. I didn’t request to come to the White House,” he told reporters. “They invited me over there about the issue of the detainees. I said give us a plan.”

Even if the administration hands over a plan to close the facility, it’s unclear if it could get passed through Congress. McCain’s proposal divided Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee and he faces opposition from House lawmakers.  

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