Gitmo

Republicans Want Senators on Record On Gitmo — Again

Roberts is behind a new resolution against moving Gitmo detainees to the U.S. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A group of Senate Republicans, concerned that prisons in their states could become home to suspected terrorists, wants their colleagues once again on record against relocating detainees from Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to the U.S. mainland.  

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is introducing a resolution designed to get his colleagues to assert opposition to the Obama administration's effort to shut down the facility at the U.S. naval installation in Cuba. Roberts is joined in the effort, as in the past, by GOP Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Tim Scott of South Carolina, along with Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri and Roberts' home state colleague Jerry Moran.  

Gitmo Executive Action Would Further Muddle Obama Legacy

Obama makes a statement about his plan to close the detention camp at the Guantánamo Bay in Roosevelt Room at the White House on Tuesday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Congressional Republicans’ immediate rejection of an Obama administration plan to close the Guantánamo Bay military prison means yet another part of the president's legacy could be decided by the courts.  

Unable to convince a GOP-run Congress to support his plan and short on time to make good on his pledge to shutter the terrorist detention facility, Obama's last option is to go it alone. And given recent history, that’s why experts expect the lawsuits to begin.  

Defiant Obama to Congress: Give Gitmo Plan 'Fair Hearing'

President Obama speaks in the White House’s Roosevelt Room on Tuesday about his plan to close the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, military prison. He was joined by Defense Secretary Ashton Cater (right), with a painting of former President Theodore Roosevelt on horseback behind them. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama on Tuesday delivered a passionate call for Congress to give his plan to close the Guantánamo Bay military prison a “fair hearing,” casting the terrorist detention center as a hindrance to national security.  

Even before Obama spoke about the plan , Republican lawmakers dubbed it  “illegal” and made clear it has almost no chance of being enacted. But Obama ended his remarks with a defiant tone.

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.”  

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.  

Republicans to Pentagon: Consult Lawyers Before Following Obama on Gitmo

Pompeo is behind a letter to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A group of House Republicans wants uniformed military leaders to consult with attorneys before carrying out executive orders from President Barack Obama related to closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  

"The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) contemplates that with respect to enlisted personnel and officers in the United States armed forces, when an order given by one’s superiors comes into conflict with the laws of this nation, the latter prevail. We believe that in our democracy — in which governance is undertaken, in the words of Founding Father John Adams, by '…a government of laws, and not of men…' – that understanding necessarily applies equally to orders given by the Commander-in-Chief," writes the group of 16 House members who are all military veterans.  

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.”