U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) announced her bill to temporarily block the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay will reach the House floor this week for a vote.
“The terrorist detainees remaining in Guantanamo Bay are the worst of the worst, and the administration’s plan to release an additional 20 detainees this year in an effort to fulfill a campaign promise puts American lives at risk,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “As we mark the 15th anniversary of the devastating terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it’s time for the House to act to protect our national security by blocking these reckless transfers.”
H.R. 5351 would halt the transfer of any Guantanamo Bay detainees until enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2017, or until the end of this year. The House-passed NDAA included a provision Walorski authored to require written agreements between the U.S. and the government of any foreign country that agrees to accept detainees. It also would require the next administration to provide Congress with a comprehensive detention plan outlining how the release of any Gitmo detainee fits into the broader strategy for handling individuals detained during wartime.
On Thursday, President Obama reiterated his intention to continue releasing Gitmo detainees in order to pave the way for the facility’s closure. Out of 61 detainees that remain in Gitmo, 20 have been cleared for transfer.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.