A Republican bill would criminalize the transfer of Guantánamo Bay detainees to the U.S.
The prohibition outlined in the measure introduced by Reps. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnCalifornia companies sued for allegedly selling fetal tissue for profit Race is on for prized House chairmanship GOP struggles to find women to lead House committees MORE (R-Tenn.) and Frank WolfFrank Wolf10 most expensive House races Benghazi Report and Hillary: What it means for Philadelphia Lobbying World MORE (R-Va.) would be in effect through 2017. Anyone found to assist in the transfer of a Guantánamo detainee would face up to five years in prison.
Blackburn said the controversial exchange of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban members detained at the U.S.-run facility in Cuba necessitated a long-term prohibition.
"The Bergdahl swap involving the transfer of five senior Taliban detainees to a beach resort in Qatar was not only illegal, it put a bounty on the head of every brave man and woman serving our country overseas," Blackburn said.
Wolf argued that terrorist suspects detained at Guantánamo Bay should not be entitled to the same legal rights as Americans.
"The detainees at Guantánamo were not arrested in the United States; they are terrorists who want to kill Americans. Bringing them to the U.S. would provide them with constitutional protections that they are not entitled to," Wolf said.
Blackburn and Wolf's bill would prevent Congress from having to fight over prohibiting detainee transfers in annual appropriations bills each ye Guantánamo ar.
Two of the 2015 appropriations bills passed by the House, military construction-Veterans Affairs and Commerce-Justice-science, include provisions that bar the administration from using funds to house or transfer Guantánamo Bay detainees.
Rep. Jim MoranJim Moran10 races Democrats must win to take the House House Dem: Congress needs 'courage' to call for its own pay raise House may resume work on spending bills next week MORE (D-Va.) offered an amendment to the Commerce-Justice-science bill that would have eliminated the provision that prohibits transfers of Guantánamo detainees to the U.S. But it was defeated 169-230.