Washington, DC (FOX Carolina) – Congressman Jeff Duncan of South Carolina released a statement Tuesday after House Democrats blocked his amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in an effort to prevent funds from being used to transfer or release detainees at Guantanamo Bay to American soil.
Below is the statement:
“Naval Station Guantanamo Bay has long been the designated detention facility for the most dangerous enemy combatants captured by our United States Military. By housing these terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, we are keeping them far away from American citizens and out of our judicial system. Congress has long agreed with this policy, including restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees in several previous annual National Defense Authorization bills. However, in 2015, President Obama attempted to close the Guantanamo Bay facility and considered transferring detainees to various parts of the United States, including the Charleston Naval Brig in South Carolina.
The Obama Administration’s plan to close Guantanamo Bay and bring terrorists onto U.S. soil was not only shortsighted national security policy, but it had the potential to put South Carolinians at risk. While I do believe Donald Trump will win the 2020 election, I find it extremely alarming that presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden played the lead role in President Obama’s plan to close Guantanamo Bay just five years ago.
Therefore, I believe it is vitally important that Congress do what they can to ensure future administrations do not blatantly ignore the law and attempt harmful action that could put South Carolinians in danger. That is why I introduced an amendment to the FY2021 NDAA that would prevent funds from being used to transfer or release any individual detained at Guantanamo Bay to any location within the United States, its territories, or possessions. Several of my colleagues also introduced similar amendments to ensure Guantanamo Bay detainees could not be transferred to the United States, however, none of our amendments were made in order. House Democrats instead chose to include language that prohibits the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to four countries with ungoverned spaces including Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.
The decision to keep the most dangerous enemy combatants far away from American citizens shouldn’t be a controversial issue. The United States should not be a terrorist dumping ground. The House Democrat majority’s decision to not include my amendment may put South Carolinians in danger. Therefore, I encourage our South Carolina Senators to right this wrong and protect our State by including language in their version of the NDAA to ensure Guantanamo Bay detainees cannot be moved to domestic soil. I will continue to fight for this issue every chance I get as we move forward with the appropriations process in the House.”
Click HERE to read Duncan's amendment.