No more executive orders….
Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts on Wednesday placed a hold on President Barack Obama’s nominee for the secretary of the Army to prevent the White House from taking executive action to close Guantanamo Bay and transfer detainees to the United States.
Roberts and the five other Republican lawmakers who make up the congressional delegation from Kansas issued a joint statement, condemning what they said was the Obama administration’s refusal to rule out taking executive action to close the prison in Cuba.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Wednesday that Obama wants to work with Congress to close Guantanamo Bay, but “if Congress continues to refuse,” the president will explore all other options.
Closing the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was a theme of Obama’s 2008 campaign and he voted in 2009 to eventually shutter the facility, which he argues is costly and gives extremists a recruiting tool.
Earnest said the White House was preparing to release the Obama administration’s plan to close the prison. Earnest would not say exactly when the plan would be released, but congressional sources have said they expect it within days.
Earnest told reporters during his regular briefing that there are three groups of detainees: Those cleared for transfer to third countries; those who can be prosecuted; and a group that is deemed too dangerous to transfer and cannot be effectively prosecuted. He said it’s this third group that the administration is considering transferring to places in the United States where they could be securely held.
“Our prison system has already demonstrated the ability to house and detain convicted terrorists,” Earnest said