guantanamo

Will Obama Issue Executive Action on Cap-and-Trade?

Inhofe. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Obama administration is refusing to make his final year in office as uneventful as Republicans would like. In fact, lawmakers expect executive action on everything from terrorist detention to campaign finance to environmental issues.  

One possibility is an executive action setting up a carbon cap-and-trade system, says Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman James M. Inhofe, R-Okla. President Barack Obama "has legacy things and he doesn’t have as much time as he would like to have,” Inhofe said in an interview. “Cap-and-trade and closing Gitmo, those are the things he wants to do.”  

SOTU: Obama Tries to Reassure Anxious Public

Obama works at his desk in the Oval Office on Tuesday as he prepares to give his 7th and the final State of the Union address. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama will take an optimistic message about the future of America to Capitol Hill on Tuesday evening, using his final State of the Union to reassure a distressed public and challenge a restive Congress.  

Obama hopes to use his final address to lawmakers to strike a stark contrast with what the White House has described as “gloom and doom” talk from the Republican presidential candidates about the trajectory of the country. He and his top aides are previewing the prime time speech as a break from tradition, saying Obama will speak in broad terms rather than lay out a sweeping legislative agenda.

Praise, Criticism for GOP as Obama Wraps 2015

Obama delivered a downright upbeat 2015 legislative victory lap and 2016 pep talk before leaving the White House. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

During his year-end news conference, President Barack Obama took the kinds of partisan shots that for years have so frustrated congressional Republicans. But he also flashed the pragmatic streak that helped him notch several legislative victories in 2015.  

On one hand, Obama praised Republicans for crafting several high-profile bills that met his muster. But on the other, he clubbed the GOP for bucking the rest of the world for its rejection of the very concept of climate change. The president and Capitol Hill Republicans have had a rocky relationship since even before he took office in January 2009, and the bad blood has made Washington a symbol of legislative dysfunction ever since. But the ill will seemed to dissipate a bit this year, as he signed into law sweeping bills on education, highways, the Export-Import Bank, and a massive spending bill that raises defense and domestic budget caps and also averts a government shutdown.  

White House: Guantanamo Plan Still Developing

A 2013 protest about Gitmo outside the Hart Senate Office Building. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House is pouring cold water on a report it is delaying a plan to close the terrorist detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, saying the blueprint remains under construction.  

A delay would amount to yet another blow to President Barack Obama’s quest to shutter the controversial prison and transfer some prisoners to U.S. soil. A senior administration official told CQ Roll Call Wednesday night the plan “will be delivered to Congress when complete” because closing the facility “remains a priority for President Obama.” The plan was expected to be released late last week, but it never surfaced. With Obama traveling to Turkey then Asia this week, and with the Paris terrorist attacks only days old, conventional wisdom in Washington was the plan would be released after Obama’s return.  

White House Hits GOP's Legal 'Track Record' in Gitmo Standoff

Police remove protesters from the White House fence during a demonstration against the war in Afghanistan and torture in 2009. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House is firing back at congressional Republicans who are threatening to sue should President Barack Obama use his executive authority to close the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, terrorist detention center.  

As the White House prepares to send Congress a plan to shutter the facility perhaps as soon as Friday, congressional leaders have dubbed it dead on arrival. The Obama administration continued Thursday refusing to rule out another option: Using an executive action to close the prison, citing the president’s war powers under Article II of the Constitution. Asked about Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain’s declaration Wednesday that such a move would be “unconstitutional,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest grinned and replied, “Gives you a sense of what we’re up against  even our friends on this issue are threatening lawsuits.”  

Moving Gitmo Detainees Unites Political Left and Right

Bev Rice, second from left, and others hold pictures of detainees during a 2013 hearing to examine the closing of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama already is hearing opposition from his political right over a coming plan to close the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility — and soon he will feel pressure from groups on his left.  

A coalition of human rights and civil liberties advocacy groups say they will  join voices on the right about the controversial issue of holding terrorism suspects indefinitely without any criminal charges or a trial. Defense attorneys who represent Guantánamo detainees are also concerned that the quality of life for some may change dramatically if they are transferred to U.S. facilities.  

Republicans Already Making Gitmo an Issue for 2016

Bennet leaves the Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican National Committee plans an online advertising campaign in seven key states targeting a policy change by the Obama administration about the future of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility.  

The RNC is looking to focus on Colorado, Kansas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Iowa, Missouri and Georgia, according to a GOP source familiar with the plan who shared details ahead of a formal announcement. Facilities in those states or close to them have been the subject of site visits by federal officials looking for a place to relocate Gitmo detainees.  

White House: Guantánamo Closure Remains Obama Priority (Updated) (Video)

Navy and Marine hats sit near the witness table as protesters demonstrate during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing regarding the Guantanamo detention facility in February. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:51 p.m. | President Barack Obama's veto threat over the National Defense Authorization Act isn't just about the money.  

"The current version that was passed through the House of Representatives is something that the president would veto principally because of this — of the irresponsible way that it funds our national defense priorities, but also because of the efforts to prevent the closure [of] the prison at Guantánamo Bay," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday. "So our position on this hasn't changed. We continue to feel strongly about it."

Obama Ready to Cave on Guantánamo Again

Obama told a shopper Saturday he's working to close Guantanamo Bay, but he may sign a bill taking away his ability to do so. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama told someone at a bookstore over the weekend he was working on closing the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, but he appears to be getting ready for what has become a traditional year-end cave on the issue.  

It now seems all-but-certain the president will sign the National Defense Authorization Act, despite the expected inclusion of language effectively banning him from transferring Gitmo prisoners to U.S. soil — despite an earlier vow to veto such a bill.  

Boehner, GOP Pounce on Guantanamo Report

Republicans oppose closing Guantanamo prison. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans are seizing on a report that President Barack Obama is considering ways to do an end-run around Congress to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to attack Democrats facing voters next month.  

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., was one of the first out of the gate, vowing to "shut down the Senate" if Obama tried to bring terrorists from Guantánamo to U.S. shores, after the Wall Street Journal reported Obama is considering overriding a congressional ban .