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 AyotteSununu seen as top recruit in GOP bid to reclaim Senate Lobbying world Overnight Defense: NATO expanding troops in Iraq 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 BurrBattle lines drawn over Biden's support for vaccine waivers FDA unveils plan to ban menthol cigarettes, flavored cigars The Hill's Morning Report - Biden to country: 'Turning peril into possibility' MORE (N.C.), James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate nixes Trump rule limiting methane regulation | Senate confirms EPA chief: Biden's climate goals are 'an opportunity to lead' | Fine-particle pollution disproportionately hurts people of color: research EPA chief: Biden's climate goals are 'an opportunity to lead' Senate confirms Pentagon policy chief criticized by Republicans for tweets MORE (Okla.), Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerBiden to meet with GOP senators amid infrastructure push Biden visits local Mexican restaurant to highlight relief program Pelosi slams McCarthy for promoting COVID-19 relief provision MORE (Miss.), Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsSenate GOP faces retirement brain drain Roy Blunt won't run for Senate seat in 2022 Lobbying world MORE (Kan.), Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottUpdating the aging infrastructure in Historically Black Colleges and Universities McConnell amid Trump criticism: 'I'm looking forward, not backward' The instructive popularity of Biden's 'New Deal' for the middle class MORE (S.C.), Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoBiden to meet with GOP senators amid infrastructure push Biden pitches infrastructure plan in red state Louisiana House to advance appropriations bills in June, July MORE (W.Va.), Steve Daines (Mont.), and Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranBottom line Hawley votes against anti-Asian hate crime bill Senate passes anti-Asian hate crimes bill 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 KirkDuckworth announces reelection bid Brave new world: Why we need a Senate Human Rights Commission  Senate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls 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 HatchBottom line The Republicans' deep dive into nativism Press: Forget bipartisanship — it's dead! 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 McConnellAssaults on Roe v Wade increasing Trump spokesman says defeating Cheney a top priority Biden to meet with GOP senators amid infrastructure push 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.