House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday Republicans are taking legal steps to stop President Barack Obama from closing the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Ryan told reporters that lawmakers have the votes to block Obama’s plan in Congress and enough votes to override any veto. Separately, the Wisconsin Republican said the GOP is “preparing our legal challenge” to ensure the prison remains open and detainees aren’t moved to the U.S.
Under Obama’s plan, roughly 35 of the 91 current prisoners will be transferred to other countries in the coming months, leaving up to 60 detainees who are either facing trial by military commission or have been determined to be too dangerous to release but are not facing charges.
Those detainees would be relocated to a U.S. facility.
Ryan said Obama’s plan flouts a longstanding ban annually passed by Congress that blocks the president from transferring Guantanamo detainees to U.S. soil.
“These detainees cannot come to American soil,” Ryan said.
“If the president proceeds with knowingly breaking the law … he will be met with fierce bipartisan opposition here in Congress and we are taking all legal preparations necessary to meet with that resistance,” Ryan told reporters. “He can’t do it because the law is really clear. I’ll just leave it at that.”