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January 17, 2017

Guantanamo Provisions in the House and Senate NDAAs for Fiscal Year 2017

The House and the Senate passed their versions of the National Defense Authorization Act for the fiscal year 2017 (FY17 NDAA). Both bills retain and add to unwise and unnecessary provisions that would make it impossible for President Obama to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Despite this, the Senate bill includes some sensible provisions that would allow detainees to plead guilty to Article III federal court offenses by video teleconference, allow temporary transfers of detainees to the United States for medical emergencies, and permit the Department of Defense to begin planning and designing facilities in the United States to hold Guantanamo detainees. 

At a cost of over $10 million per detainee annually Guantanamo is irresponsible, both fiscally and for our national security. Earlier this year, three dozen of the nation’s most respected retired generals and admirals wrote to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees urging Congress to come together and find a path to finally shutter the detention facility stating, “This should not be a political issue.” This document outlines the impact of the Guantanamo provisions in the House and Senate FY17 NDAA bills.