Congress Security

Congress Votes Against Closing Gitmo. Again. And Again


Around this time every year the subject of Guantanamo Bay comes up and every year since President Obama took office Congress has voted against closing the prison.

This year is no different.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has once again voted against closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay by prohibiting the transfer of detainees to mainland American soil.

And amendment offered by Representative Adam Smith (D-WA) which would have closed the prison by 2016 was defeated 177-247.

The White House threw its support behind Smith’s amendment, as President Obama has called for closing the Guantánamo Bay prison since his first campaign for president.

“By eliminating unwarranted and burdensome restrictions relating to the transfer of Guantanamo detainees, his amendment would further our efforts to move past this chapter in U.S. history,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

As I’m sure you recall, President Obama signed an executive order the day he took office to close the prison, but Congress has voted against closure every year since.

Continued detention at Guantanamo Bay is not the only thing the House voted to affirm, however. The House also voted to affirm the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force.

An amendment sponsored by Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) that would have ended the 2001 AUMF was defeated 191-233

The 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will mark the 5th year in a row that Congress will block President Obama from fulfilling his pledge to close the Guantanamo Bay prison and it marks a new era in which Congress will block the president from officially ending the limitless War on Terror.

Prior to 2011 Democrats in Congress were also an impediment to closing the Guantanamo Bay prison, but in more recent years attitudes have shifted.

The 2015 NDAA passed the House of Representatives today by a margin of 325 to 98.