The Buzz

TheChat: Sen. Jerry Moran continues to battle Obama over Gitmo

Good morning.

▪ “To completely bypass Congress is not only aggressive, but also an illegal move by the administration – especially when the attorney general confirmed that current law prohibits the transfer of prisoners to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., or anywhere else in the United States.” — Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran reacting to Department of Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s plan to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Republicans are continuing their drumbeat against the administration for its apparent intentions to move the remaining detainees to the mainland, and possibly Fort Leavenworth. That the move would be illegal appears to have some merit. But the administration is moving ahead.

▪ “I apologize to the millions of New Yorkers who have been let down by liberal politicians in that state.” — GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz responding to Hillary Clinton, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other Democrats who are demanding that Cruz apologize for his criticism of Donald Trump for having “New York values.”

Cruz isn’t backing down despite an onslaught of criticism from Democrats and Trump. New Yorkers appear to be rising up against Cruz, so it remains unclear whether his gambit is working.

▪ “The rates of addiction and death associated with heroin and opioid use is staggering and affecting families from all corners of Missouri.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill who is holding a Senate committee hearing Tuesday in Jefferson City on the dramatic rise in opioid abuse and overdose deaths.

McCaskill’s remarks followed the news that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack would lead a multi-agency effort to address the issue.

▪ “Once again, President Obama is launching an attack on America’s most abundant domestic energy resource in order to promote his radical environmental agenda.” — Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo, a Wichita Republican, following the announcement that the Obama administration plans to overhaul the federal coal leasing program and halt new coal mining leases on public lands.

This sums up the long-standing fight in this country over coal. Pompeo says the administration’s actions would threaten jobs and lead to increased electricity costs for Kansas families and consumers. Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri has made the same point in recent months. The administration, meantime, says such steps are needed to rein in global warming.

▪ “This is the dumbest idea in a long time.” — John White, tandem-bike coordinator with the Springfield SpringBike Bicycling Club, on a proposal requiring Missouri bicyclists to attach a 15-foot-tall flag to their bikes if they ride on county roads.

White said visible clothing and awareness would be a better approach. He also said he’s concerned that high winds would make it difficult to handle a bike with a 15-foot flag.