In yet another example of President Obama’s own party taking issue with his policies, congressional Democrats denied funding a request to close Guantanamo Bay as required by Obama’s executive order.
The Washington Times reports:
House Democratic leaders Monday dropped President Obama’s request for $81 million to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, bowing to strong Republican criticism that the administration lacks a plan to relocate terror suspects detained there.
Mr. Obama requested the money as part a spending bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but Democratic appropriators left it out of the bill circulated Monday among House Appropriations Committee staffers.
Republicans have been criticizing Mr. Obama for rushing to keep his campaign promise to close the prison camp at the U.S. Navy base on Cuba without a plan for what to do with the roughly 240 terrorism suspects currently held on the island.
Closing the prison “just never stood up to logic. There is no place on the planet to take the worst of the worst that would treat them as well as they are treated at [Guantanamo],” said Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican, who visited the facility a month ago.
“The bottom line really is that [if the prisoners are released], innocent people will die and some of them likely will be Americans,” he said.
Democratic leaders were not immediately available to comment.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, previously dismissed the Republicans’ objections as another example of partisan obstructionism by the minority.
“It would be highly irresponsible for Republicans to attempt to hold up funding as part of their just-say-no strategy,” Reid spokesman Jim Manley said.
So Harry Reid bashed Republicans on holding up spending to close Gitmo yet members of his own Democrat Party in the House are doing exactly that.
Tell me Senator Reid, are they using partisan obstructionism as well?
Lawmakers in both parties oppose bringing the prisoners to their states. Speculation about shipping the terror suspects to prisons in states including Florida, Montana and Virginia has met stiff resistance. A number of foreign countries also do not want to take the prisoners, either.
The White House has not announced where it intends to move the detainees.
The lawmakers have to answer to the voters in 2010, President Obama does not. Therefore, they aren’t too eager to be known as the congressman or senator who brought Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to town.