- The Washington Times - Friday, October 10, 2014

Congressional Republicans reacted angrily Friday to a report that President Obama is weighing options to re-write federal law and move terrorists housed at Guantanamo Bay to the U.S.

Speaker John A. Boehner said an “overwhelming majority of the American people and bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate oppose importing the terrorists” to the mainland U.S.

“House Republicans have kept our pledge to America to keep these terrorists out of the United States, and we will do everything within our power to keep our pledge and hold the administration accountable,” said Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, who called the plan “a dangerous scheme.”

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday the White House is drafting options to allow Mr. Obama to close the detention facility at Gitmo by overriding a congressional ban on bringing detainees to the U.S. The paper cited anonymous administration officials.

A White House spokesman did not rule out Friday that the president might take such action.

“I can say that this is something important to the president, important to the administration, and something we are constantly working with Democrats and Republicans in Congress over,” said deputy press secretary Eric Schultz. “For many years now we have always looked at options to do this. Our position right now, our policy right now, is seeking support from Congress to lift the restrictions which we feel are misguided.”

Sen. Pat Roberts, Kansas Republican, said on the campaign trail Friday that he and his GOP colleagues would “shut down the Senate” to counter the president’s move.

“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 again I will shut down the Senate,” he said.

Mr. Roberts said the effort would be similar to the filibuster launched by Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, to stop funding for Obamacare.

“We’re going to bring 179 terrorists to the United States including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?” Mr. Roberts said. “Once you get control of the floor you just don’t leave it. Ted Cruz did that with regard to Obamacare. If necessary, I’ll do it with terrorists.”

Mr. Obama has pledged since the start of his administration to close the detention facility, which has 149 detainees who have been held in the aftermath of 9/11.

Congress in 2010 banned the transfer of detainees to the U.S. after the administration proposed transferring them to a federal prison in Illinois.

Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, said Mr. Obama is trying to make good on “an ill-conceived campaign promise simply to mollify far-left donors and energize his base before an election.”

“As terrorists behead innocent Americans and civilians abroad, the only message we need to be sending our enemies right now is that we’re coming after them, not bringing them into our backyards,” Mr. Cornyn said.

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