Lawmaker snarls at Obama's Gitmo plans

Jan. 4, 2011 at 1:59 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama should give up his goal of trying detainees held at Guantanamo Bay in civilian courts, a Republican lawmaker from Michigan said.

Aides to Obama said he has the power to bypass a law preventing the transfer of terror suspects from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the United States.

One of the Democratic president's campaign pledges was to close the military prison and bring the detainees back for U.S. trials. However, a major defense bill passed by Congress in December forbade using military funds to ship the inmates to the United States, The New York Times reported.

U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., said Obama would be acting outside his constitutional authority if he uses a presidential signing statement to transfer or release Guantanamo Bay detainees.

"The president must abandon his goal to try these enemies of our nation in civilian courts in defiance of the will of Congress and the American people," Miller said in a statement. "We must not provide these terrorists a taxpayer-funded public venue to spout their venom against our nation."

She said Obama should use his veto power if he intends to act "against of the will of Congress." Congress, in turn, should override the veto "so the will of the American people can be carried out."

Miller becomes the chair of the U.S. Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security when the new Congress convenes Thursday.

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