House Speaker John Boehner blasted the White House on Friday amid a report in The Wall Street Journal that said President Barack Obama is considering options to unilaterally shut the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Invoking recent beheadings of American journalists by the extremist group calling itself the Islamic State, Boehner said the White House’s reported plan to bring the detainees into the US is “dangerous” and “another example of what will be this administration’s legacy of lawlessness.”
Here’s Boehner’s full statement:
“An overwhelming majority of the American people and bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate oppose importing the terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay into the United States, yet the White House continues to move forward with its plan. Even as Islamic jihadists are beheading Americans, the White House is so eager to bring these terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to the United States that it is examining ways to thwart Congress and unilaterally re-write the law. Not only is this scheme dangerous, it is yet another example of what will be this administration’s legacy of lawlessness.”
“While Republicans stand united against this ploy, each and every Democrat should make their position known. Do they support the president’s manoeuvre to override a bipartisan law, thumb his nose at the American people and the Constitution, and bring these terrorists to U.S. soil? Or do they stand with the American people and oppose this dangerous plan? House Republicans have kept our Pledge to America to keep these terrorists out of the United States, and we will do everything within our power to keep our pledge and hold the administration accountable.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that Obama is “unwavering in his commitment” to close the detention center by the time he leaves office after 2016. The detention facility currently holds 149 inmates.
Closing the prison was one of Obama’s earliest campaign promises in 2008, but he ran into fierce congressional opposition upon taking office. In 2010, Congress voted to impose strict limits on Obama’s ability to transfer detainees to the United States.
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