Walorski Speaks on House Floor About Dangers Posed by Release of Gitmo Detainees
Two Dozen Detainees Set for Release as Officials Lose Track of Former Detainee in Brazil Weeks Before Olympics; Walorski Bill Would Block Transfers Until New Safeguards in Place
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) today spoke on the House floor about the dangers posed by the release of terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay amid the ongoing manhunt for a former Gitmo detainee missing in Brazil weeks before the start of the Olympics.
The fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the House earlier this year contains key safeguards authored by Walorski, including a requirement that the U.S. enter into written agreements with any foreign nations that accept detainee transfers. Last month, Walorski and Senator Steve Daines (MT) introduced legislation to prohibit any Gitmo transfers until the FY17 NDAA is signed into law, or until the end of this year.
A video of Congresswoman Walorski’s speech is available here. The full text of her remarks is below.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express grave concern over the threat of radical Islamic terrorism.
“What we need is a comprehensive strategy to destroy terrorist organizations like ISIS.
“Instead, the administration is ramping up the release of Guantanamo Bay detainees.
“Make no mistake: these detainees are the worst of the worst.
“One former detainee has become a leader of al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen.
“Another released last month was Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard.
“And just weeks before the Olympics, authorities in Brazil are on the hunt for a former detainee who went missing.
“With another two dozen detainees cleared for transfer this summer, I worked to include key safeguards in next year’s National Defense Authorization Act – like requiring written agreements with foreign nations that accept Gitmo transfers.
“And I introduced legislation with Senator Steve Daines to block all Gitmo transfers until these safeguards are signed into law, or until the end of the year.
“The president wants to empty Gitmo and bring the remaining terrorists to U.S. soil.
“Mr. Speaker, we cannot allow these terrorist detainees to put American lives at risk.
“I yield back.”
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.