Sen. Cornyn Backs Effort To Protect Taxpayers From Shouldering GITMO Moving Expenses

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a member of the Senate Republican Leadership, today joined his colleague, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, in introducing an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2009 supplemental appropriations bill that would bar the use of funds to transfer detainees from GITMO to any facility in the U.S. Similarly, the amendment would prohibit the use of funds for housing or incarcerating any detainee in the U.S., as well as building or modifying any facility in the U.S. for the same purpose. President Obama requested $80 million in FY09 supplemental funds to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center. Leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee today said the $80 million would be stripped from the bill.

"It was reckless and irresponsible for President Obama to sign an Executive Order ordering the closure of Guantanamo Bay when he and his team had no game plan regarding what to do with the 240 terror suspects held there. Denying the President's funding request until he has a concrete action plan is the prudent thing to do, and I applaud Senate Democrat leaders for sending this important message to the President today.

"Taxpayers are already on the hook for trillions the Administration has spent carte blanche in just the past five months. The last thing they need is to pick up the $80 million tab to bring these dangerous individuals into the United States - especially since the terrorists are currently housed in a suitable, highly secure facility where they pose no danger to the American people.

"I have told the President multiple times that these dangerous individuals are not welcome in Texas, and I will continue to oppose any and all efforts by the Administration to move them there or anywhere else in the United States. Common sense, if nothing else, dictates that bringing individuals with terrorist training onto U.S. soil is both misguided and dangerous."

Background

Sen. Cornyn sent a letter in January to President Obama urging him to not close Guantanamo Bay without careful consideration of the repercussions and without a safe alternative option for dealing with these dangerous individuals.

He also joined with his Texas colleagues in the House of Representatives in February in sending a letter to the President, cautioning him not to transfer Guantanamo detainees to Texas, as doing so could afford generous legal protections to these dangerous enemy combatants and simultaneously put Texans in great danger.

Sen. Cornyn serves on the Finance, Judiciary and Budget Committees. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee's Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.