President Biden takes issue with parts of National Defense Authorization Act during bill’s signing

During the signing ceremony of the National Defense Authorization Act on Monday, President Biden told reporters he took issue with a part of the NDAA that continues restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to other countries.

“Unfortunately, section 1032 of the Act continues to bar the use of funds to transfer Guantánamo Bay detainees to the custody or effective control of certain foreign countries,” Biden told reporters during the signing. He continued, “these provisions unduly impair the ability of the executive branch to determine when and where to prosecute Guantánamo Bay detainees and where to send them upon release.”

The restrictions have been in place since the Obama administration. Some lawmakers, like Senator Jeff Duncan (R-SC) have cited the provisions as necessary to minimize the threat of terrorism to the United States.

Duncan issued a statement in 2020 saying, “The decision to keep the most dangerous enemy combatants far away from American citizens shouldn’t be a controversial issue.”

Guantanamo Bay has been a hot-button issue between Democrats and Republicans, with the former pushing to close down the controversial prison and the latter lobbying to keep it open in spite of claims that it is an unconstitutional detention center. 

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