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) MoranStar gymnasts call on Congress to dissolve US Olympics board Expats plead with US to deliver COVID-19 vaccines Biden sidesteps GOP on judicial vacancies, for now MORE (R-Kan.) and co-sponsored by Republican Sens. Steve Daines (Mont.), James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Senators slam Pentagon officials Generals contradict Biden, say they advised leaving troops in Afghanistan LIVE COVERAGE: Senators press military leaders on Afghanistan MORE (Okla.), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchLobbying world Congress, stop holding 'Dreamers' hostage Drug prices are declining amid inflation fears MORE (Utah), Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsMcConnell gets GOP wake-up call Bob Dole, Pat Roberts endorse Kansas AG Derek Schmidt for governor Ex-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm MORE (Kan.) and Cory GardnerCory GardnerColorado remap plan creates new competitive district Protecting the outdoors: Three cheers for America's best idea Ex-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm MORE (Colo.).
“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 McCainThe Biden-Harris train wreck may have its savior: 2024 GOP nominee Donald Trump Kelly raises million in third quarter Legislative limbo — how low can they go? 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.