Walorski Introduces Companion Bill to Ayotte’s Legislation to Restrict Transfers of Guantánamo Bay Detainees

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

WASHINGTON D.C. – In an attempt to protect the safety of the United States and its allies, Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) introduced legislation that would restrict transfers of detainees from Guantánamo Bay.

H.R. 401, the Detaining Terrorists to Protect America Act of 2015, is companion legislation to a Senate bill introduced last week by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and would suspend the transfer of high and medium risk detainees and prohibit any detainee transfers to Yemen, as well as increase transparency regarding the remaining Guantánamo detainees.

“In order to protect our national security, we must stop releasing some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists, especially given the risk that they could re-engage in hostilities against the U.S. and our allies,” said Walorski.”

“Congresswoman Walorski understands that there is no greater priority for the federal government than keeping Americans safe. She understands that the national security interests of the United States, not a misguided campaign promise, should guide decisions regarding Guantanamo detainees,” said Senator Ayotte. “I applaud her leadership role in the House and her willingness to introduce a companion version of The Detaining Terrorists to Protect America Act of 2015. I look forward to working with her to advance this important legislation.”

Walorski commended Sen. Ayotte for her integral work on this issue and expressed her gratitude for bringing this bill to the Senate last week. “I want thank Sen. Ayotte for allowing me to introduce this legislation in the House and look forward to continuing our partnership to prevent the release of dangerous terrorists who could seek to reengage in terrorism against the U.S. and our allies.”

Key provisions of the bill include:

  • Extend for two years the prohibition on transfers of Guantanamo detainees to the U.S.
  • Suspend for two years the international transfers of detainees who have ever been designated as high and medium risk to the U.S., our interests, or its allies.
  • Prohibit detainee transfers to Yemen for two years.
  • Require the Secretary of Defense to submit an unclassified report detailing current Guantanamo detainees who have been designated as a high or medium risk threat to the U.S., its interests, or its allies.
  • Return to the tougher 2013 standard for international transfers.

As part of the 2014 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2397), the House passed an amendment offered by Walorski to prohibit funds for the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to Yemen. Walorski also responded in 2013 to the president’s decision to lift the ban on releasing Guantanamo Bay prisoners to Yemen.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District in Indiana, where she serves as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee, and House Committee on Agriculture.

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