Move bans Gitmos US entry
Obama to sign defense bill
WASHINGTON, Nov 11, (Agencies): President Barack Obama will sign the National Defense Authorization Act ( NDAA) that includes a measure that will ban moving Guantanamo Bay detainees to the US, creating a hurdle in President’s plan to close the prison, the Pentagon announced.
“The secretary (of Defense) shares the president’s commitment to close Guantanamo Bay as soon as possible, in the most efficient and effective manner possible,” Pentagon spokesperson Peter Cook told reporters on Tuesday.
“These provisions within the NDAA do pose challenges, to that process (closing the prison). But we are moving forward, and don’t believe there’s anything at this point that would prevent the secretary (Ash Carter) and this department from moving forward with the plan to close Guantanamo,” he affirmed.
Cook reiterated, “My understanding is the president is going to go ahead and sign the NDAA.” The US Congress has played a “significant role” in preventing the closure of Guantanamo by adopting restrictive NDAA since 2010 all that have denied funding for transferring detainees to the US, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) indicated in a statement released Tuesday.
Congress extended a ban Tuesday on the transfer of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay to the United States, in a bid to block any attempt by President Barack Obama to close the military prison.
The Senate voted 91 to 3 to approve a revised version of the $615 billion defense policy bill for 2016, which contained the measure extending the ban until December 31, 2016.
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan bill last week, 37058.
Obama used his executive authority last month to veto an earlier version of the National Defense Authorization Act, largely because of the language on Guantanamo and a dispute over defense spending increases.
This time, the White House did not threaten a veto, and it indicated Tuesday that the president would sign the legislation.
Another veto could have proved embarrassing to Obama because both chambers of the Republican-controlled Congress had mustered the necessary two-thirds majority that would override it.
“We all know the unfortunate and unnecessary roadblocks the defense authorization bill has faced this year,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
“We look forward to ... the president signing the bipartisan bill, along with its restrictions against bringing terrorists into the United States, into law.”