NPR logo Obama Protests Guantanamo Limits, But Signs Bill


Obama Protests Guantanamo Limits, But Signs Bill

President Obama has signed a bill into law that will severely limit his ability to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Obama says he chose not to veto the defense authorization bill because of the important military funding it contains. But the bill also contains a poison pill for the president's efforts to close Guantanamo: Congress restricted the executive branch from using taxpayer money to bring Guantanamo detainees to the United States or transfer them to foreign countries.

Obama says that "undermines our nation's counterterrorism efforts and has the potential to harm our national security." In a signing statement, he registered his strong objections to the bill's Guantanamo provisions.

Going forward, he wrote, "my administration will work with the Congress to seek repeal of these restrictions, will seek to mitigate their efforts, and will oppose any attempt to extend or expand them in the future."