Republicans are seizing on a report that President Barack Obama is considering ways to do an end-run around Congress to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to attack Democrats facing voters next month.
Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., was one of the first out of the gate, vowing to "shut down the Senate" if Obama tried to bring terrorists from Guantánamo to U.S. shores, after the Wall Street Journal reported Obama is considering overriding a congressional ban .
Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, quickly followed with a sharply worded statement, vowing to do "everything within our power" to keep terrorists from being transferred to the United States. “An overwhelming majority of the American people and bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate oppose importing the terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay into the United States, yet the White House continues to move forward with its plan," Boehner said. "Even as Islamic jihadists are beheading Americans, the White House is so eager to bring these terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to the United States that it is examining ways to thwart Congress and unilaterally re-write the law. Not only is this scheme dangerous, it is yet another example of what will be this administration’s legacy of lawlessness."
Boehner challenged Democrats to answer whether they back Obama.
“Every Democrat should make their position known. Do they support the president’s maneuver to override a bipartisan law, thumb his nose at the American people and the Constitution, and bring these terrorists to U.S. soil? Or do they stand with the American people and oppose this dangerous plan? House Republicans have kept our Pledge to America to keep these terrorists out of the United States, and we will do everything within our power to keep our pledge and hold the administration accountable.”
It's not clear exactly what Boehner means by "everything within our power" at this point, but it could make what is already looking like a messy lame duck filled with potential shutdown showdowns over immigration and health care even messier.
Congress has the power of the purse, and the House has the power to impeach. But Boehner has been reluctant to engage in new shutdown threats or impeachment talk.
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