House Dem moves to end Gitmo transfer ban

House Armed Services Committee ranking member Rep. Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithBroad, bipartisan rebuke for proposal to pull troops from Africa Lawmakers push back at Pentagon's possible Africa drawdown Overnight Defense: Foreign policy takes center stage at Democratic debate | House delivers impeachment articles to Senate | Dems vow to force new vote on Trump's border wall MORE (D-Wash.) on Tuesday said he will propose an amendment to the 2015 defense spending bill to lift the ban on transferring Guantanamo detainees to U.S. soil.


“The detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is an international eyesore that undermines our national security objectives, damages our credibility with regard to human rights and international law, and wastes taxpayer dollars,” said Smith in a statement.

“As the cost for the facility continues to increase, so too does the need to close it. But, we cannot effectively close this facility until the congressionally mandated restrictions are removed," he added.

President Obama has vowed to close the facility, which houses suspected terrorists and enemy combatants, but has efforts have been blocked by lawmakers.

Previous defense bills have barred the transfer of detainees to the United States and placed restrictions on moving them to other foreign countries.

The 2015 defense authorization bill, released on Monday, also blocks spending on the transfer of detainees to the U.S. and on constructing or modifying facilities on American soil that could house them.

Smith's amendment would seek to remove those measures from the bill.