Unilaterally Closing Guantanamo Bay Is ‘against the Law’ | Speaker.gov

This morning at a press briefing with other House Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan called on President Obama to rule out taking unilateral action to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees to American soil, while also outlining the steps House Republicans are taking to offer a comprehensive—and legal—alternative to keep Americans safe. Below are Speaker Ryan’s full remarks:

“This week, we are taking our next steps to developing our bold agenda to take to America. These are not going to be things we can get done this year with a liberal progressive president. These will be things that we can do with a Republican president in 2017 and beyond.

“One example of our agenda is national security. Yesterday, in his plan to close Guantanamo Bay, the president proposed transferring terrorist detainees to American soil. But Congress—and the American people—have clearly spoken on this issue. This is against the law—and it will stay against the law.

“In fact, the president should rule out taking unilateral action to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees to our shores. He should rule out asking our military leaders to knowingly break the law. He should rule it out and he should give the country that reassurance.

“But this is why, in our agenda, that we will not only propose ideas to keep the country safe, we will present an overarching strategy to confront and defeat the threat posed by ISIS and radical Islamic terror. This is something the American people are just not getting—and may never get—from this president.

“So this week, work on our agenda continues. We’re holding forums for our members to provide their ideas. We’re gaining insight from constituents and people all across the country. And our task forces will release mission statements that lay out the goals and the principles that will guide their work.

“I’m excited about this agenda. I’m very excited about this agenda. This is basically why I took this job. The primary reason why I took this job, with basically six days’ notice, is that we as Republicans will offer solutions to the country. That we will go beyond just being an effective opposition party and [be] a productive proposition party.

“Everything—everything’s at stake in this election. With the passing of Justice Scalia—an icon, a lion of the Supreme Court—with the passing of Justice Scalia, everything is on the line: Congress, the Supreme Court, the presidency. Will we, in 2016, keep America [as] a constitutional republic, or will we become a liberal progressive welfare state? Nothing short of this question is what will be determined and answered by the people in America in 2016.

“And that is why we are going to produce an agenda to give the country and clear and compelling choice so that we are respecting the men and women of this nation with the right to choose which path America takes. That is what we are doing, and that is why conservatives are unifying around a bold agenda to take to the country to give them a clear choice.”