GOP seeks to remove funding to design Gitmo alternative

GOP seeks to remove funding to design Gitmo alternative
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Republican senators are hoping to remove language giving the Pentagon flexibility in planning a stateside replacement for the Guantanamo Bay detention facility from an annual defense policy bill.

The language would be removed through an amendment to Senate’s version of the 2017 National Defense Authorization (NDAA) filed by Sen. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranOvernight Defense: Officials brief Congress after Iran shoots down drone | Lawmakers fear 'grave situation' | Trump warns Iran | Senate votes to block Saudi arms sales | Bombshell confession at Navy SEAL's murder trial The 7 GOP senators who voted to block all or part of Trump's Saudi arms sale Senate votes to block Trump's Saudi arms sale MORE (R-Kan.) and co-sponsored by Republican Sens. Steve Daines (Mont.), James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeSenate set to bypass Iran fight amid growing tensions This week: Congress set for clash on Trump's border request Trump urged to quickly fill Pentagon post amid Iran tensions MORE (Okla.), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators MORE (Utah), Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsEPA exempts farms from reporting pollution tied to animal waste Conservatives spark threat of bloody GOP primaries Juan Williams: Anti-abortion extremism is on the rise MORE (Kan.) and Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerMcSally on Moore running for Senate again: 'This place has enough creepy old men' Hillicon Valley: Senate sets hearing on Facebook's cryptocurrency plans | FTC reportedly investigating YouTube over children's privacy | GOP senator riles tech with bill targeting liability shield | FAA pushed to approve drone deliveries Senate panel advances bill to protect government devices against cyber threats MORE (Colo.).

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“It’s outrageous that the National Defense Authorization Act would give the Obama administration the means to assist in the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States, a move that is rejected by Coloradans and Americans across the country,” Gardner said in a written statement Tuesday.

The annual defense policy bill keeps in place bans on using funding to transfer detainees to the United States or to build or modify facilities in the United States to house detainees.

But it also specifies that those bans don’t extend to the planning or designing of a U.S. facility to house detainees.

“The Secretary of Defense may use amounts authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available for the Department of Defense for designing and planning related to the construction or modification of such facilities,” the bill reads.

Gardner called the provision “ill-conceived.”

Passage of the amendment would mean, he added, “that the DoD would still be prohibited from using any taxpayer resources to relocate prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, thus denying the Obama administration any means to fulfill a campaign promise and move detainees to the United States.”

Earlier this year, Republicans roundly panned President Obama’s plan to close the detention facility that included bringing detainees to the United States.

Some of the criticism, including from Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCainVeterans group to hand out USS John McCain T-shirts for July 4 on the National Mall Will we ever have another veteran as president? Meghan McCain clashes with Joy Behar as the 'sacrificial Republican' on 'The View' MORE (R-Ariz.), slammed the plan for being too vague. For example, the plan referenced 13 possible sites in the United States without naming them, and gave ranges for the price tag of a new facility.

The administration asserted at the time that it couldn’t get more specific because of the funding prohibitions that were in place.

The Senate will vote Wednesday on proceeding to the NDAA.

If the language allowing funds for planning passes the Senate, it would have to be reconciled with the House version of the bill, which does not include it.