In the News
September 15, 2016
By Maggie Avants, Patch Staff
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, released a statement Thursday after voting against H.R. 5351, the Guantanamo Detainee Transfer Prohibition Act, which would block the use of U.S. funds to transfer any individual detained at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, either to the United States or any foreign country, prior to Jan. 1, 2017 or Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations.
"I voted against this bill today because it is my firm belief that our top military leaders should decide how to deal with and where to house suspected terrorists—not Congress," said Peters, who serves California's 52nd Congressional District, which covers much of central San Diego County including Poway, Coronado, and large portions of the City of San Diego.
"A vote against this bill does not equate support for bringing suspected terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to the United States, which is already prohibited by law. This politically-motivated and reckless proposal would ban the transfer of detainees to any country.
"Any decision to transfer a detainee from Guantanamo Bay to another country must be vetted, under current law, by the Secretary of Defense, the Departments of Defense, State, Justice, and Homeland Security, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Director of National Intelligence. It is unwise to tie the hands of our strongest military and national security leaders at a time when we face new and dynamic threats around the globe."
In a statement Tuesday, President Barack Obama's Administration said if the president were presented with H.R. 5351, he would veto it.
The bill, by U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Indiana and 67 cosponsors, was passed by the House of Representatives Thursday.
According to The Journal-Gazette, in Walorski's home state, the "Republican-controlled House voted 244-174, largely along party lines, to stop the release of the 61 detainees who remain at the U.S. military prison in Cuba, including 20 who have been cleared for transfer. All seven Republicans from Indiana voted in favor of Walorski's legislation, and both Hoosier Democrats voted against it."