A House Republican introduced a resolution that would authorize a lawsuit against the Obama administration if it attempts to transfer detainees at the Guantánamo Bay prison to the U.S., hours after the president outlined a plan on Tuesday to close the facility.
Rep. Jeff Duncan’s (R-S.C.) measure would give the House authority to file a lawsuit if the Obama administration violates the terms of the most recent defense authorization.
Under that law, the Obama administration is prohibited from bringing detainees into the U.S. and must notify Congress at least 30 days before transferring any prisoners.
“It is important for Congress to legally prepare to respond to any possible violation of the law, which is what this legislation would accomplish,” Duncan said in a statement.
President Obama sent Congress a long-awaited plan on Tuesday to close the Guantánamo Bay detention center that proposes moving between 30 and 60 remaining prisoners to the U.S.
The proposal, which would cost up to $475 million, doesn’t specify where the prisoners would be housed in the U.S.
The Cuba facility currently holds 91 detainees, 35 of which are already considered eligible for transfer to other countries. Another 10 are facing military court proceedings.
Republicans quickly came out against Obama’s plan upon its unveiling on Tuesday, arguing it was too vague and that the president wanted to prioritize a campaign pledge to close the prison over national security.
"What we received today is a vague menu of options, not a credible plan for closing Guantanamo, let alone a coherent policy to deal with future terrorist detainees," Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBiden falters in pledge to strengthen US alliances 20 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 MORE (R-Ariz.) said.
Initiating litigation against the Obama administration is familiar territory for House Republicans. The House voted in 2014 to sue President Obama over his use of executive power, centering mainly on his move to delay the healthcare law's employer mandate requiring large businesses to provide insurance coverage.
- Kristina Wong contributed.