Republicans Vow To Block Obama's Guantanamo Plan

| by Jimmy King
A watch tower at Guantanamo Bay detention center, 2011A watch tower at Guantanamo Bay detention center, 2011

Republicans have reportedly promised to block President Barack Obama’s proposal to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center. The criticism comes after the President released a plan to shutter the controversial prison, which is used to hold suspected terrorists. 

“What we received today is a vague menu of options, not a credible plan for closing Guantanamo, let alone a coherent policy to deal with future terrorist detainees,” Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona said on Feb. 23, according to The Hill. McCain has been a vocal supporter of closing Guantanamo Bay.

The Obama administration’s plan includes the transfer of 30-60 people currently detained in Guantanamo to a new facility in the U.S. The plan does not specify where the new prison would be built; rather, it leaves it up to Congress to decide.

Republicans criticized the vagueness of the plan, saying that Congress would have to write in the details for the plan to be viable.

“What the President submitted today is more press release than a plan," House Armed Services Committee Chairman, Republican Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas, said. "More than seven years after he ordered the detention center at GTMO closed, I find it telling that the White House has either failed to work out these important details or they know, but they refuse to disclose them to the American public."

The closure of the controversial Guantanamo Bay detention center was one of Obama’s hallmark campaign promises in 2008.

Obama had formally announced the plan to the public on Feb. 23.

“The plan we’re putting forward today isn’t just about closing the facility at Guantanamo," Obama said according to CNN. "It’s not just about dealing with the current group of detainees, which is a complex piece of business because of the manner in which they were originally apprehended and what happened. This is about closing a chapter in our history."

Republicans in Congress have made it clear that further consideration of the Administration’s plan is out of the question.

“Simply put: this plan is dead on arrival in the Senate,” Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said, according to The Hill.

Sources: CNN, The Hill / Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons (2)

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