WASHINGTON, D.C.— Tonight, House Armed Services Committee Democrats successfully blocked an attempt by Republicans to jeopardize our national security by needlessly changing the law to prevent the effective prosecution and conviction of terrorists.
The effort was introduced as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2011 by Congressman Randy Forbes (R-Va.). Under the Forbes amendment, the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay into the U.S. would be completely prohibited. Such a prohibition could seriously impede our ability to prosecute suspected terrorists and limit the President’s ability to protect our national security in the event of unexpected circumstances that require the transfer of these individuals.
The amendment would have changed the current and proven-effective law extended this year by Democrats. Under the law, the President must submit a comprehensive disposition plan and risk assessment. Congress would then have adequate time to review the plan. Since this law was enacted, there have been no incidents of unsafe transfers of detainees to the U.S.
“When it comes to an issue as serious as terrorists, we cannot afford short-sighted, dangerous policies that limit the ability of the U.S. to swiftly bring these individuals to justice,” said Armed Services Committee member Congressman Rob Andrews (D-N.J.). “Our defense bill this year continues Democrats’ commitment to fix the dramatic shortfalls of the Bush Administration and keep our nation safe from those who seek to do us harm.”