Defense

Rubio backs Gitmo bill

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Wednesday added his name to the roster of supporters who back legislation that would prohibit detainee transfers from the Guantánamo Bay prison facility.

The 2016 president hopeful signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill, which was introduced earlier this year by Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H).

The measure, which the Armed Services panel approved in February, would suspend the transfer of high- or medium-risk terror suspects, and prohibit the president from sending a detainee to a country where a former Guantánamo prisoner returned and reengaged in terrorist activities.

{mosads}It would also repeal an existing law that gives President Obama the authority to transfer detainees, and reinstate a ban on detainees being returned to Yemen, which is currently undergoing a tumultuous and violent political transition.

Rubio becomes the latest GOP contender to back the bill, which the White House has threatened to veto should it ever pass out of Congress. 

He joins Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.), who could announce his candidacy early next month.

That leaves Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) as the only official Republican 2016 candidate to leave his name off the measure. 

Paul has said that the controversial prison should not be closed, especially through executive order, and that those detained there should be charged and tried.

The president has ramped up his efforts to shutter the controversial facility in an attempt to fulfill a campaign pledge he made in 2008.

Transfers from the facility have reduced the population at Guantánamo to 122 prisoners, and The Washington Post reported that administration officials are scrambling to move detainees from the site before the GOP-controlled Congress can block Obama from transferring any prisoners. 

Tags Kelly Ayotte Lindsey Graham Marco Rubio Rand Paul Ted Cruz
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