Republicans have revealed plans hoped to make it more difficult to transfer any inmates from the infamous Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.
The new plans have been unveiled at a time when President Obama continues to work to close down the controversial detention centre, a position that is not favoured by members of the Republican party.
According to a report by Reuters, the proposed 2016 National Defense Authorization Act renewed an annual ban on spending to transfer prisoners to the United States from the detention centre.
Within the bill there are new restrictions that have been added with some including rescinding Obama’s authority to unilaterally transfer detainees. The bill would require any transfer to only be allowed to take place when the Secretary of Defense could certify that a country receiving prisoners would maintain control over them to ensure they cannot threaten the United States, according to Reuters.
As well as imposing rules to make it very difficult to transfer a prisoner, the bill would also prohibit the movement and transfer of any prisoner to what is considered to be a combat zone, this would prevent prisoners from Afghanistan from being able to be sent home as has previously occurred.
If the new measures in the bill move forward then we could be seeing another case of the president using his power of veto to move forward with transferring prisoners.
According to Reuters, the White House has already threatened to veto legislation passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee that would bar transfers from Guantanamo until after Obama’s presidency.
The Guantanamo Bay Naval Base detention centre was opened following the September 11 attacks in 2001. At the time President George W Bush used the facility to house terrorism suspects but since its opening it has come under massive criticism for the treatment of prisoners, many of whom have been held for years without being charged of any crime at all.
When President Obama took office in 2009 he promised to shut the prison down as part of his presidential pledges but while he may have been trying to keep to his word, he has been unable to close down the prison, primarily because of obstacles that have been put in his way from Congress.
So far 116 of the detainees have been transferred, repatriated or resettled since President Obama took office. While some have welcomed the releases, others have warned that these former detainees may well end up straight back on the battle fields around the world.