Contact: Josh Holly; 202.226.3988
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee tonight voted overwhelmingly to uphold the Bush Administration’s policy for detaining terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The 58-3 vote in support of President Bush’s policy occurred during mark-up of annual defense authorization bill.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) offered an amendment to shield Democrat members from having to vote in support of the continued operation of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Rep. Skelton’s amendment was layered on top of an amendment offered by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) that called for the detention center at Guantanamo Bay to remain open and prohibited the importation of terrorists into American communities.
Rep. Miller’s statement follows:
“Many critics say our international image has been irreparably damaged by Guantanamo and therefore must be closed. It is a falsehood that the never ending chorus of critics would immediately fall silent after the closing of Guantanamo and the transfer of detainees to the United States.
“Countries that do not grant equal rights to women, stifle the press, imprison dissenters and condone racism and religious discrimination have no business criticizing our detention facility. Additionally, a defense policy or foreign policy crafted and implemented to appease the worst of the worst, is no policy I wish to subscribe to.
“Six years after September 11th- Americans deserve the right to see Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others tried for war crimes without delay. I’m glad to see that my Democrat colleagues agree.”