Gardner Introduces Measure to Prevent Transfer of GTMO Detainees to U.S.

Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) joined Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) in introducing an amendment to S.2943, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (NDAA), which provides funding for the Department of Defense (DoD). The NDAA contains language that affords DoD flexibility to use its funding for designing and planning for modifications to potential relocation sites for Guantanamo Bay detainees within the United States. 

Current law plainly prohibits any taxpayer resources to transfer or assist in the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States homeland. Several Obama Administration officials, including Department of Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, have acknowledged this fact. Gardner’s amendment strikes Section 1023 of the NDAA, thus retaining current law that prohibits the DoD from using any resources to assist in the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to an alternative location.  

“It’s outrageous that the National Defense Authorization Act would give the Obama Administration the means to assist in the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States, a move that is rejected by Coloradans and Americans across the country,” said Gardner. “My amendment to this legislation strikes this ill-conceived provision, which means that the DoD would still be prohibited from using any taxpayer resources to relocate prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, thus denying the Obama Administration any means to fulfill a campaign promise and move detainees to the United States. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this amendment and standing with Americans across the country who are opposed to moving terrorists to our backyards.”


Gardner has worked to find additional legislative solutions to block the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States. Last week, Gardner introduced an amendment to the Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Act that would prohibit the use of funds to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to the United States using our airspace. Recently, Gardner joined his GOP colleagues in introducing legislation that would prevent the transfer or release of Guantanamo Bay detainees to global terror havens, including all countries designated by the United States Department of State as state sponsors of terrorism, currently Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Current U.S. law already prohibits transfers to Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and Syria, but not to Iran and Sudan, where 14 detainees have been transferred over the past decade.

In March, Gardner introduced a resolution formally rejecting President Obama’s plan to transfer prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay detention facilities to an alternate location in American communities, which is explicitly prohibited by law. Gardner is also a cosponsor of the Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Protection Act, a bill that stops the President from terminating or modifying the Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay’s lease without Congressional approval. 

Gardner has also called on the Obama Administration to transfer ISIS fighters to Guantanamo Bay. Following the recent announcement that U.S. Special Forces captured an ISIS leader, Gardner and his GOP colleagues introduced a resolution urging the Administration to transfer detained ISIS fighters to Guantanamo Bay. 

Gardner continues to meet with Coloradans and local law enforcement across the state who are opposed to moving terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to not only Colorado, but anywhere in the United States. In March, Gardner hosted a town hall in Florence, Colorado focused on national security issues that was attended by local elected officials, including members of the law enforcement community, and other local leaders to discuss issues including the potential transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to Colorado and the growing instability in the Middle East. Gardner discussed his visit to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and reiterated his opposition to the transfer of the detainees to American soil.



Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.


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