Lucas Slams Plan to Fund Guantanamo Bay Closing

Washington, DCToday, Congressman Frank Lucas denounced President Obama’s plan to earmark $80 million of his funding request to finance military operations overseas, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to close the detention facility on Guantanamo Bay.  The funds will be used to pay foreign countries willing to accept the terrorist detainees housed there.

“At a time when our American soldiers are risking their lives overseas, it is irresponsible for the President to include controversial funding to close Gitmo in much needed military funding legislation,” stated Lucas.  “It will most certainly hold up the passage of this legislation.  Properly funding our military, especially those Americans fighting for our freedom overseas, is a policy we can all get behind.  Partisan politics should not be inserted in what would be a bipartisan piece of legislation in an effort to cram a very controversial and ill-conceived plan through Congress.”

As one of his first acts, President Obama announced in January that the prison facility in Guantanamo Bay, which is home to some of the most dangerous and notorious terrorists in the world, would be closed within the year.  At the time, he gave no specific instructions as to what would be done with the terrorists housed there. 

“I am outraged at this proposal,” stated Lucas.  “Closing the detention facility at Gitmo, especially with no plan as to what will be done with the terrorists housed there, was a reckless decision.  The President’s latest plan to pay foreign countries willing to accept these detainees will most certainly put all Americans at a greater risk.”

Debate on this legislation could begin as early as this week in Congress.  The President requested $83.4 billion to finance the United States’ overseas responsibilities through September 30, 2009.  Lucas is a cosponsor of H.R. 701 and H.R. 148, both of which prohibit the use of funds to transfer the terrorists detained in Guantanamo Bay.

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