House Passes Bill Delay Gitmo Closure

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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In a 244-174 vote, the House passed a bill to prevent the Obama Administration’s plan to transfer any more detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, until Congress passes its defense appropriations bill.

The bill, spearheaded by Indiana Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski, blocks any funding for transfer or release of detainees from the prison.

Republicans and the president have long been at odds on the Gitmo’s closure, with GOP lawmakers noting a recent report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence found a third of those released return to terrorism.

“The news that two more former Guantanamo detainees have returned to the fight underscores the need for this action. The administration should heed the will of the House and cease its planned transfers of more terrorists back to their host countries,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. “For the president, this is about keeping a campaign promise. For us, this is about keeping Americans safe.”

Sixty-one detainees remain at the facility, but 20 have been cleared for transfer this year. Vice President Joe Biden said in August he expect the facility to close by the time Obama leaves office.

The bill is unlikely to pass the Senate and the White House has threatened to veto the measure.

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