Washington D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith announced today that he will push an amendment to the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act to remove the restrictions on transferring individuals from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO) into the United States for trial or detention. Current law prohibits the United States from transferring detainees into the United States and from constructing or modifying facilities to house them for the purposes of detention or imprisonment, which prevents the President from closing the facility.
“The detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is an international eyesore that undermines our national security objectives, damages our credibility with regard to human rights and international law, and wastes taxpayer dollars,” said Smith. “As the cost for the facility continues to increase, so too does the need to close it. But, we cannot effectively close this facility until the congressionally mandated restrictions are removed.”
Smith’s amendment will strike two provisions in the bill that would perpetuate congressionally imposed road blocks to closing GTMO. The two sections Smith will aim to remove are:
Section 1032—Prohibition on Use of Funds to Construct or Modify Facilities in the United States to House Detainees Transferred from United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
Section 1033—Prohibition on the Use of Funds for the Transfer or Release of Individuals Detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.