As we’ve documented here in the past when no one else would, Congress has repeatedly voted to prohibit the Obama administration from closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, and these votes have been tucked away inside the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) at the end of each year, making it virtually veto-proof.
We’ve reached the end of year again and the NDAA is up for renewal.
According to The Hill, we should find out sometime either today or this week whether or not Congress will vote, yet again, to bar the administration from closing Gitmo.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), ranking member Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) will hold a press conference at 4:30 p.m. Monday afternoon to announce the “comprehensive” National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) agreement and “propose a way forward to passage,” according to a committee aide. [...]
The final details of several contentious issues on the bill have not yet been announced, but Smith told reporters that the “big four” leaders of the Armed Services panels weren’t shying away from controversial issues on the legislation, such as what do to do with the detainees at Guantánamo.
With a deadline of Friday, the NDAA has been described as “take-it-or-leave it,” meaning it’s likely that it will represent a continuation of the status quo because there’s no time left to debate or amend it.
Congress could pitch a curve ball and finally allow the closure of the prison, but I’m not optimistic.
Previous versions of the NDAA have been passed with veto-proof majorities.