Politics

McCain: I’ll Sue Obama If He Tries To Close Gitmo With Executive Action

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Jonah Bennett Contributor

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain threatened Tuesday to sue President Barack Obama if he tries to close Guantanamo Bay with executive action.

“Of course it’s not in his authority,” McCain said, according to The Washington Examiner, commenting on executive action as a White House strategy. “It’s pretty clear.”

But if the Obama administration tries anyway, McCain said that lawmakers would have to “Go to court. That’s all we can do is go to court.”

The Senate just passed the National Defense Authorization Act after an initial Obama veto. The White House has indicated that Obama is willing to sign the updated annual defense bill because it passed with a veto-proof majority, although he still is unhappy with language in the bill which blocks closure of Gitmo.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest emphasized that Obama’s decision to sign the $607 billion dollar bill does not constitute agreement with the Republican plan to prevent the administration from shuttering the detention facility.

But regardless of the bill, the White House is still looking for clever ways to end Gitmo and has considered the possibility of unilateral, executive action.

What’s interesting about McCain’s opposition to the administration is that he is among the few Republicans who actually supports closing Gitmo, just not along Obama’s terms. He aligned with other Republicans and inserted a provision in the NDAA to mandate that the administration submit a closure plan first before taking any action.

Despite endless delays in submitting the plan, which prompted McCain to harshly criticize the administration for vetoing the first version of the NDAA, the White House reportedly intends to bring the plan to bear this week.

McCain said that he wants to consider only a single proposed location for bringing detainees to the United States, not five or six different possible locations.

“How am I supposed to consider five or six different places?” McCain asked. “That’s not a plan, that’s a Chinese menu.”

But to be sure, even a plan submitted to Congress has little chance of persuading Republicans, especially those in states where Pentagon scout teams have considered housing hardened detainees who require indefinite imprisonment.

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