Washington DC - U.S. Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-CA), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement today in response to the Obama Administration's request for $30 million in supplemental funding for the closure of Guantanamo Bay:
"The Obama Administration's plan to close Guantanamo Bay appears to be moving forward without any legitimate consideration for the potential consequences. Since President Obama signed the Executive Order to close the facility, there has been no formal consultation with Congress. In fact, respective Committees in the House and Senate have yet to hold a single hearing to review the complex issues associated with closing Guantanamo Bay, including the transfer of terrorists in custody and future detainee operations.
"If the President is serious about closing Guantanamo Bay without jeopardizing our security, then the Administration needs to work directly with Congress to create a detention process that keeps detainees off U.S. soil and prevents terrorists from returning to the battlefield. Until there is a plan in place and detainee operations are thoroughly reviewed, Congress should withhold funding to proceed with the closure of the facility."
The Obama Administration's war supplemental request announced today includes $30 million for the Department of Justice to implement Executive Orders for the closure of Guantanamo Bay. Since the Executive Orders were signed in January 2009, there have been no hearings by Congress despite the fact that consideration is being given to transferring detainees to U.S.-based facilities, including San Diego's Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. As a result, Hunter introduced H.R. 633, legislation to prohibit the transfer of detainees to either of these instillations.
Congress is expected to consider the war supplemental request in the near future.