Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21), member of the House Armed Services Committee, took to the House floor to speak in support of H.R. 5351 – legislation to prohibit the transfer of any individual detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Below is a transcript of her remarks, or for video click here.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
First I want to thank my HASC colleague and friend, Jackie Walorski, for all of her efforts to prevent the transfer of terrorists from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and introducing H.R. 5351, of which I’m a proud cosponsor.
I stand here today as the Representative of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division— resilient Warriors who have been an integral force in the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq since 9/11.
As we all know, GITMO is comprised of some the world’s most heinous iterrorists, and we have lost many servicemembers’ lives in their pursuit.
And as the 10th Mountain Division and others continue to serve in harm’s way, it is our duty to provide oversight and ensure the Administration is held accountable before any American dies at the hands of a released detainee.
Releasing these terrorists and closing GITMO is a true national security concern at home; therefore, I urge my colleagues to stand with our brave men and women in uniform and show them that their sacrifices have not gone to waste – and vote today in support of H.R. 5351.
H.R. 5351 passed the House today by a vote of 244-174.
H.R. 5351 – To prohibit the transfer of any individual detained at U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
H.R. 5351 will temporarily prohibit the transfer of all detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to any country.
- The Obama Administration is intent on closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and only 61 detainees remain after transferring 46 since January.
- In current law, the prohibition on transfers to the United States expires on December 31, 2016.
- This legislation prohibits all transfers of detainees to the United States or any other country until the enactment of the FY2017 NDAA or January 21, 2017.
- The House-passed FY2017 NDAA prohibits the transfer of detainees to the U.S., prohibits closure of the base, and prohibits the transfer of detainees to Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.
- The freeze on transfers provides time for the FY2017 NDAA, which will include relevant provisions, to be enacted or will remain through the end of the Obama Administration in order to prevent the transfer of the remaining detainees.