Washington, DC - Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14), the ranking member on the House Armed Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, on Thursday released the following statement regarding the House of Representatives vote on prohibiting Guantanamo detainees from being transferred prior to committee discussion.
“Today’s vote to stop Guantanamo detainees from being transferred is the most recent, and one of the most egregious examples that Congress has ceased to even go through the motions of a deliberative, democratic process. We skipped to an up-or-down vote before even discussing the topic in committee, meeting after the vote for a discussion that was completely irrelevant. I hope that I’m not the only Member of Congress who finds this appalling,” said Rep. Speier. “When I was in my district during the six-week Republican summer vacation, I heard from my constituents on a number of important issues they want addressed. The list of priorities for hard-working Americans is long. But one thing that never came up was blocking Guantanamo transfers. Americans are dying every day from gun violence and we do nothing. Babies are being infected with Zika and we do nothing. Children in Flint, and in communities around our country, are being poisoned by their water supply and we do nothing. The government is going to shut down in two weeks and we’ve done nothing. So why does this bill, which seeks to block the transfer of detainees who have never been charged with a crime and have already been approved for transfer, get priority? I’ll tell you why. It’s because it helps perpetuate fear amongst the electorate; the go-to-move in the Republican Party’s playbook. This is political gamesmanship at its worst and we shouldn’t stand for it. What we should do is take advantage of this sudden sense of urgency to do our jobs and vote on the important issues that matter most to hard-working Americans.”