Congressional Republicans may block transfer of Guantanamo detainees to U.S. soil: party leader

11:09, December 18, 2009      

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A congressional Republican leader on Thursday warned that Congress may prevent the Obama administration from transferring terrorist suspects held in the Guantanamo prison to the U.S. soil.

The minority leader at the House of Representatives, John Boehner, told reporters that at least two bills need to be passed at Congress before any Guantanamo detainee can be sent to the U.S. soil from the navy base in Cuba, and neither of them seems likely to be let go.

"I wouldn't want to bet on when those two pieces of legislation will pass, if ever," he said.

The White House announced earlier this week to purchase a detention facility in a small town of Illinois to home some of the Guantanamo detainees, as part of a plan to close the controversial prison by Jan. 22, a deadline set by President Barack Obama after he was sworn into office.

Public debate was also triggered when the government announced its intention to bring some top terrorist suspects held in the Guantanamo prison to a federal civil court in New York for trial.

Although Democrats are dominating both of the two floors at Congress, lawmakers in two parties have both expressed their concerns on the initiative by the Obama government on the Guantanamo prison.

In addition, current U.S. law forbids Guantanamo detainees to be brought to the U.S. soil, unless they will be prosecuted here.

On the possibility that congressional Democrats would attach the bill to approve budget to buy the Illinois detention facility to the war budget bill that would fund the additional troop deployment in Afghanistan, the Republican lawmaker from Ohio said that he may vote against both of the two pieces of legislation.

"I am not going to support a bill that facilitates bringing Gitmo (Guantanamo) prisoners to the United States," Boehner said.

Source: Xinhua
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