Tags: Barack Obama | War on Terrorism | Pat Roberts | Obama | Guantanamo | filibuster | Senate

Pat Roberts: If Obama Closes Gitmo, 'I Will Shut Down the Senate'

Image: Pat Roberts: If Obama Closes Gitmo, 'I Will Shut Down the Senate'
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By    |   Friday, 10 Oct 2014 04:23 PM

If President Barack Obama goes forward with his plan to use executive action to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, he risks triggering another shutdown — of the U.S. government.

Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, fighting for his political life against independent challenger Greg Orman, vowed in a speech at his campaign headquarters in Topeka that he would take action by filibustering on the Senate floor if Obama closes Guantanamo.

"I stopped him once from trying to send a Gitmo terrorist to Leavenworth. I shall do it again. I shall do it again, and if he tries it, I will shut down the Senate," Roll Call reported.

"What on earth is the man thinking? We have ISIS [the Islamic State], we have the world on fire, we're worried about terrorists coming across the border — that danger according to intelligence sources is very real — and so we're gonna bring [about 150] terrorists to the United States? Including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was the godfather of all this," Roberts told supporters.

"I just think that's terribly wrongheaded. And the reasons that he cites or that his aides cite in the White House is that it was a campaign promise. That was then, this is now. And now is not the time to be bringing terrorists in the United States."

The Wall Street Journal reported that Obama is having options drafted which would allow him to fulfill his campaign promise to close down the prison, which the Journal says still holds 149 terrorists, without seeking congressional approval. To do that, he has to overcome 2010 legislation which banned bringing Gitmo prisoners to the United States.

American University law professor Stephen Vladeck told the Journal that should Obama close the prison through unilateral action, it would "ignite a political firestorm," and Roberts is the first one to strike a match, promising a filibuster and a government shutdown similar to the 16-day shutdown of October 2013 over Obamacare.

"Once you get control of the floor, then you just don't leave it," Roberts said. "[Sen.] Ted Cruz did that with regards to Obamacare. If it's necessary I'll do it with terrorists," Roll Call reported. Cruz filibustered for about 21 hours.

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If President Barack Obama goes forward with his plan to use executive action to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, he risks triggering another shutdown — of the U.S. government.
Pat Roberts, Obama, Guantanamo, filibuster, Senate, shut down
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2014-23-10
Friday, 10 Oct 2014 04:23 PM
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