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Rep. Rodney Davis: Lawmakers, Obama Fight Over Gitmo Closure

By    |   Thursday, 14 May 2015 07:58 PM

Lawmakers are going head-to-head with President Barack Obama's goal to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and place some of its prisoners in federal lockups, Illinois Republican Rep. Rodney Davis said Thursday.

In an interview with Newsmax Prime host J.D. Hayworth on Newsmax TV, Davis, a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, said lawmakers and "many Americans" are concerned about terrorists being brought to U.S. prisons.

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"The president is willing to put some of the most radical terrorists that we've had in our nation's history and put them into our federal prison system," Davis said. "That's why we're trying to stop that from happening in the [National Defense Authorization Act] bill, and also to ensure that he's not able to continue to do what we don't think needs to be done, which is to close an existing base that we've got a lot of actionable intelligence on and that's the Gitmo detention facility."

The House on Thursday night rejected a proposal to close the detention facility by the end of 2017; the legislation also maintains the current ban against transferring detainees to U.S. prisons, The Hill reports.

Final passage of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization is expected Friday morning, The Hill reports.

Davis said he's been concerned about the Guantanamo facility closure and a plan to move some of its prisoners to a federal lockup in Thomson, Ill., as well as other federal prisons since Obama first came to office.

"This was one of the first promises that he made as president on inauguration day in 2009," he said of the Guantanamo closure. "I'm concerned that he's actually wanting to cost taxpayers more by closing a facility that we have seen has given us actionable intelligence to stop radical terrorists from hurting Americans. I don't see why he's in such a hurry to spend more tax dollars to move them not only to the United States, but also to other countries."

Illinois voters are frightened by the prospect.

"They're just as scared as other Americans that by putting some of the most radical terrorists into our existing correctional facilities, we're just looking for an excuse to allow homegrown radical terrorists to do what we saw happen in Texas," Davis said.

Davis argued there'd certainly be no economic boost by bringing detainees to the Thomson Correctional Center in northern Illinois.

"When you see the president discuss closing Gitmo and moving detainees to other facilities like Thomson or throughout the rest of the correctional system or to other countries, that means that there's a cost," he said. [T]hey're not able to move terrorists there in any executive order or any decision that …will be violating existing law and we're going to do everything we can to make sure that doesn't happen."

"I got a question earlier today on whether or not Guantanamo is the excuse that many radical groups are using to recruit other members," Davis added. "They don't need Gitmo to recruit members. … We need to keep Gitmo open because taxpayers have already paid for it. We are getting actionable intelligence because we have the best military officers and intelligence officials on the ground in one place."

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Lawmakers are going head-to-head with President Barack Obama's goal to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility - and place some of its prisoners in federal lockups, Illinois Republican Rep. Rodney Davis said Thursday.
Guantanamo Bay, gimo, Rodney Davis, lawmakers
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2015-58-14
Thursday, 14 May 2015 07:58 PM
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