Republican senators are already gearing up to fight President Obama's plan to close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, which is expected to be submitted to Congress on Tuesday.
GOP senators whose states the administration is eyeing as possible locations to send detainees to voiced their opposition on Monday, in advance of the release.
“This plan is expected to present the options for the relocation of Guantanamo, but regardless of whether it is Kansas, South Carolina, or Colorado, none of these options are acceptable," Sens. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsBob Dole, Pat Roberts endorse Kansas AG Derek Schmidt for governor Ex-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain MORE (R-Kan.), Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottDOJ announces agencywide limits on chokeholds and no-knock entries Lobbying world As Biden falters, a two-man race for the 2024 GOP nomination begins to take shape MORE (R-S.C.) and Cory GardnerCory GardnerProtecting the outdoors: Three cheers for America's best idea Ex-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm Biden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program MORE (R-Colo.) said in a statement.
Congress has banned the transfer of any detainees to U.S. soil and enacted restrictions on any transfers from the prison.
However, Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCain20 years after 9/11, US foreign policy still struggles for balance What the chaos in Afghanistan can remind us about the importance of protecting democracy at home 'The View' plans series of conservative women as temporary McCain replacements MORE (R-Ariz.) and other lawmakers have said they would consider allowing detainees in the U.S. if the administration submits a plan they approve of.
But any plan will face stiff opposition from other quarters on Capitol Hill. Roberts is a staunch opponent of allowing detainees to come to the U.S., and has placed a hold on the president's nominee for Army secretary until he is assured none will be placed at the barracks at Fort Leavenworth.
He, Scott and Gardner say they are concerned with the 30 percent recidivism rate among detainees of those who have been confirmed or suspected to have returned to the fight.
They also say it will cost "hundreds of millions of dollars" to construct a new facility, and that any domestic facility "would place a bullseye for acts of terror on an American community."
"With ever-growing threats abroad and our increased efforts to combat ISIS, we need a place to house these terrorists, and that place is not in our communities, nor back on the battlefield," they said.
"Our states and our communities remain opposed to moving the world’s deadliest terrorists to U.S. soil. The terrorists at Guantanamo Bay are where they should remain — at Guantanamo Bay.”
Earlier in the day, another GOP opponent, Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyottePoll: Potential Sununu-Hassan matchup in N.H. a dead heat Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal Sununu seen as top recruit in GOP bid to reclaim Senate MORE (R-N.H.), also vowed to oppose the closure of the prison.
“Today’s news reports indicate that the president is doubling down on a dangerous plan to close Guantanamo — a move that I will continue to fight in the Senate," she said.