Thursday, May 14, 2009

NRCC: Does Zack Space Take the Gitmo Issue Seriously?

Washington- Rep. Zack Space (D-OH) voted today to block an amendment that would put critical safeguards into place to protect American families from terrorists currently detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (House Roll Call 261).

“President Obama used a Jan. 22 executive order to give the military a year to shut down the prison facility. But nearly four months later the White House, the Defense Department and the Justice Department have not announced what they plan to do with the several hundred detainees still at the facility.” (Molly K. Hooper and Reid Wilson, “Boehner to call for GOP unity on Gitmo detainees,” The Hill 05/13/09)

As Congress takes up an important war spending bill, the issue about what to do with terrorists detained at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility is a critical component of the debate. Democrats in Congress and the President have promised to close Gitmo, but have outright failed to deliver a comprehensive plan for what to do with these detainees and have failed to install certain safeguards to protect Americans from these terrorists.

“Zack Space failed to protect his constituents today when he blocked a proposal that would hold the President and Congress accountable for their reckless idea of closing Gitmo with no real plan in place on what to do with the terrorists detained there,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “Space has exposed his unwillingness to take national security seriously at the expense of the safety of American families.”

Today, Zack Space voted to block a critical amendment that would have prohibited taxpayer funds from being used to transfer or release Gitmo detainees into the United States. Additionally, this amendment would have required the President to certify in writing that anyone who would be transferred or released does not pose a security risk to the United States. Also, it would require that the President must receive consent from the Governor and State legislature of the State in which the President plans to transfer or release a detainee.

The amendment that Zack Space voted to block would have also required that the President submit to Congress a detailed cost analysis for closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and related costs to transferring, detaining, prosecuting, or releasing a detainee in the United States by August 22, 2009.

Why doesn’t Zack Space want to hold the President and the Congress accountable for their vague idea of closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility with no real plan in place?