President Barack Obama promised on his second day in office to close the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. President-elect Donald Trump has campaigned to keep it open – a position I have continually supported in Congress, most recently in this year’s defense bill.
The defense bill, which passed the Senate with a wide bipartisan majority in June, includes a provision that would prohibit the President from closing the facility or transferring its detainees to the United States. This measure is in keeping with public opinion on the issue. Based on a CNN/ORC poll taken earlier this year, most Americans do not want Gitmo closed, and I agree with them. The world’s most dangerous terrorists should not be placed on U.S. soil in an effort to fulfill the President’s political goal before he leaves office.
I had an opportunity to tour the detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base recently, and I met with many of our service members, including troops from Mississippi. I observed the utmost professionalism and patriotism from these dedicated men and women, who work every day to ensure the safety and well-being of Americans. Human rights organizations also visit Guantanamo regularly and they continue to find that the facility meets high international standards.