Congressman Jeb Hensarling

Representing the 5th District of Texas

Hensarling Votes to Prohibit Transfer of Gitmo Detainees

Sep 15, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) voted to stop the Obama Administration from continuing its reckless release of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay detention camp (Gitmo).  Under current law, it is illegal for the president to transfer Gitmo detainees to American soil, but that’s not stopping him from releasing these dangerous terrorist to other countries and putting our national security at risk.  In fact, the Administration has already cleared 20 of the remaining 61 detainees for release.

“The detainees at Gitmo are among the most dangerous and determined terrorists on the planet.  The Director of National Intelligence himself has said nearly one-third of all released detainees return or are suspected of having returned to terrorism,” said Hensarling.  “So, it seems to me, the Administration is more concerned about fulfilling a bad campaign promise than about our national security.  Handing these detainees over would essentially be returning terrorists to the battlefield to potentially commit more heinous acts of terrorism, and I will do everything I can in Congress to stop this.”

H.R. 5351 would stop the transfer of any Gitmo detainees until enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2017, or until the end of this year.  That’s because the House-passed NDAA includes a provision that requires written agreements between the U.S. and the government of any foreign country that agrees to accept Gitmo detainees.  The NDAA also requires the next administration to provide Congress with a comprehensive detention plan outlining how the release of any Gitmo detainee would fit into the broader strategy for handling individuals detained during wartime.

H.R. 5351 passed the House 244 to 174 and will now head to the Senate for consideration.  The President has already threatened to veto the measure.