Lawmakers in Kansas and Missouri are weighing in on President Barack Obama’s announcement Tuesday that he’ll send Congress a plan to close the detention center in Guantanamo Cuba “once and for all.”
Spoiler alert: They don’t like the idea.
Gov. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.: “The President is once again putting his personal agenda ahead of the safety and security of Americans by threatening to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and transfer dangerous detainees to U.S. soil. As I have said before, this was a bad idea when it was proposed and it remains a bad idea today.”
U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan.: “The President’s so-called plan is for Congress to act. Fortunately for him, we have acted and the President has agreed to our legislation for the past seven years – keep the terrorists in the prison at Guantanamo Bay. In Congress, I will continue to fight any proposal that could potentially transfer any detainees to Fort Leavenworth.”
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Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.: “The absence of a specific recommendation for an alternative location proves that there is no suitable location. The Congress and the American people are against the President’s desire to move these terrorists to the heart of any American community. It is against the law. Like most of the President’s attempts to skirt the law and enact his agenda, doubtlessly this action will end up in the courts.”
Missouri Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate Jason Kander, D-Mo.: “In our current national security situation we should not close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Our focus right now needs to be defeating ISIS, and we can’t risk the possibility that the terrorists housed at Guantanamo could rejoin the battlefield.”
(NOTE: Republicans have sharply criticized Kander’s statement, noting his 2009 vote against a state resolution urging “the United States Congress to reject any act of asylum, containment, transport, imprisonment, or medical care in regard to suspected terrorists from any United States operated foreign prison present within the State of Missouri.” The resolution opposed transporting Gitmo detainees through Missouri, or temporarily incarcerating them in the state.
Republicans claim Kander flipped on the issue.)
U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo.: “I fail to see how relocating Islamic extremists to U.S. soil makes Americans safer. It is likely that these terrorists would be transferred to Fort Leavenworth, putting the people of North Missouri and eastern Kansas at serious risk.”
U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan.: “Bringing the world’s most dangerous terrorists to Fort Leavenworth is a non-starter. Through the appropriations process, we’ve successfully blocked President Obama’s repeated attempts to close Guantanamo Bay and put our national security at risk. Nothing changes today.”
U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan.: “Terrorists who intend to destroy America should not be brought to our shores. Period. These Islamic extremists are dangerous, and GTMO is the right place to detain them.”
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan.: “I remain committed to blocking the transfer of Guantanamo detainees anywhere in the United States, especially Fort Leavenworth.”
More as we get them.