Overwhelming Majority of Americans Oppose Bringing Detainees to U.S.
Washington- Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) is now seemingly at odds with the overwhelming majority of Americans who oppose closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and oppose bringing those terrorist onto U.S. soil. Shea-Porter recently voted to block a critical amendment to prohibit taxpayer funds from being used to transfer or release Gitmo detainees into the United States – arguably putting American lives at risk.
“Carol Shea-Porter is failing to take this critical national security issue seriously – all at the expense of the families in her district and across the country,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “New Hampshire families deserve a representative in Congress who take their national security seriously and won’t blindly endorse an idea in the absence of a real plan.”
A USA Today/Gallup Poll released today confirms what everyone, except Carol Shea-Porter, probably already knew:
“By more than 2-1, those surveyed say Guantanamo shouldn't be closed. By more than 3-1, they oppose moving some of the accused terrorists housed there to prisons in their own states....
“In the survey, Americans were inclined to accept the argument...that the detention center had made the United States safer. By 40%-18%, they said the prison had strengthened national security rather than weakened it....
“A 54% majority of those polled say the prison shouldn't be closed, and that they'll be upset if the administration moves forward to close it.
“Last month, Senate Democrats stripped $80 million to close Gitmo from a spending bill and blocked transfer of detainees to U.S. soil, at least for now.” (Susan Page, “Poll: Most Oppose Closing Gitmo,” USA Today, June 1, 2009)
Carol Shea-Porter, however, was among the Democrats in the House who voted to block an amendment that would have put critical safeguards into place to protect American families from terrorists currently detained at Gitmo (House Roll Call 261).
Additionally, this amendment would have required the President to certify in writing that anyone who would be transferred or released does not pose a security risk to the United States. Also, it would require that the President must receive consent from the Governor and State legislature of the State in which the President plans to transfer or release a detainee. It would have also required that the President submit to Congress a detailed cost analysis for closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and related costs to transferring, detaining, prosecuting, or releasing a detainee in the United States by August 22, 2009.
If Carol Shea-Porter is interested in keeping America safe, she can start by standing up to her party leaders in Washington and siding with the families in her district who oppose closing Gitmo.