Senate GOP bill would halt Gitmo transfers
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Senate Republicans are hoping to crack down on President Obama's ability to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees as he works to shutter the controversial Cuban prison in his final year.

Sen. 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.) introduced legislation Tuesday to prohibit permanently closing the facility. Her proposal would make permanent a current ban on bringing detainees into the United States and block the White House from releasing detainees to other countries through September 2017.


"Our nation needs a common-sense detention and interrogation policy that keeps captured terrorists off the battlefield and enables us to gather the intelligence necessary to prevent future attacks," she said in a statement. "This administration seems more interested in releasing terrorists and bringing the remainder to the United States in order to close Guantanamo and fulfill a misguided and dangerous campaign promise." 

GOP Sens. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Overnight Health Care: COVID-19 vaccine makers pledge massive supply increase | Biden health nominee faces first Senate test | White House defends reopening of facility for migrant kids MORE (N.C.), James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Overnight Defense: New Senate Armed Services chairman talks Pentagon policy nominee, Afghanistan, more | Biden reads report on Khashoggi killing | Austin stresses vaccine safety in new video Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy MORE (Okla.), Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerPassage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Overnight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March 11 GOP senators slam Biden pick for health secretary: 'No meaningful experience' MORE (Miss.), Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsSenate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes Window quickly closing for big coronavirus deal Trump's controversial Fed nominee stalled after Senate setback MORE (Kan.), Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottLobbying world Powell pushes back on GOP inflation fears Trump ready to make McConnell's life miserable MORE (S.C.), Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoPassage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Biden's unity effort falters Capito asks White House to allow toxic chemicals rule to proceed MORE (W.Va.), Steve Daines (Mont.), and Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranPassage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Senate votes to hear witnesses in Trump trial Senate panel advances Biden's education and labor secretary picks MORE (Kan.) have signed onto Ayotte's legislation.

Ayotte has also placed a hold on Jennifer O'Connor's nomination to be the Pentagon's general counsel as she angles to get the administration to hand over information on Guantanamo Bay detainee transfers. 

Sen. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkSenate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Senate makes SCOTUS nominee Barrett a proxy for divisive 2020 Senate Republicans scramble to put Trump at arm's length MORE (R-Ill.) also introduced legislation this week to limit the administration's ability to transfer detainees to unstable countries or state sponsors of terrorism. 

Countries that would be impacted by the ban include Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Iran. 

"Allowing the transfer of these dangerous criminals to terror hotspots only makes it easier for them to re-join in the fight against America," Kirk said.

Republican Sens. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchHow President Biden can hit a home run Mellman: What happened after Ginsburg? Bottom line MORE (Utah), Cory GardnerCory GardnerBiden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program Gardner to lead new GOP super PAC ahead of midterms OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court rules against fast-track of Trump EPA's 'secret science' rule | Bureau of Land Management exodus: Agency lost 87 percent of staff in Trump HQ relocation | GM commits to electric light duty fleet by 2035 MORE (Colo.), James Lankford (Oka.), James Inhofe (Okla.) and Jerry Moran (Kan.) have signed onto Kirk's bill. 

The administration handed over a plan to close the facility earlier this year, including moving some detainees into the United States. The move would allow the president to fulfill a long-standing campaign pledge. 

Republicans, however, quickly panned his plan. 

The new GOP bills come after the Pentagon announced Monday that it had transferred two Guantanamo Bay detainees to Senegal. The Obama administration is working to reduce the prison's population and close the facility before the president leaves office. 

The latest transfer brought the number of detainees at Guantanamo Bay to 89. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKlain on Manchin's objection to Neera Tanden: He 'doesn't answer to us at the White House' Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Murkowski undecided on Tanden as nomination in limbo MORE (R-Ky.) slammed Obama Tuesday for releasing detainees over concerns they could rejoin terrorist groups.  

"This is precisely the wrong time to send experienced, hardened fighters back in to the conflict," he said. “We must use the remaining months of the Obama Administration as a year of transition to better posture our military to meet the threats we will face." 

Republicans are also pushing the Obama administration to present a new plan to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) after terrorist attacks in Brussels last month.

This story was updated at 4:32 p.m.