Guantánamo

White House threatens veto of Guantánamo transfers restrictions

The Department of Defense Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure Paul Lewis, left, and the acting State Department Special Envoy for the Closure of Guantánamo Bay Charles Trumbull testify before the House Armed Services Committee's Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee about the transfer of detainees from the military prison in Cuba during a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill Feb. 12, 2015 in Washington, DC.
The Department of Defense Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure Paul Lewis, left, and the acting State Department Special Envoy for the Closure of Guantánamo Bay Charles Trumbull testify before the House Armed Services Committee's Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee about the transfer of detainees from the military prison in Cuba during a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill Feb. 12, 2015 in Washington, DC. GETTY IMAGES

The White House says President Barack Obama would veto legislation to restrict detainee transfers out of the Guantánamo Bay prison.

Obama spokesman Eric Schultz said Thursday the bill introduced by four powerful Republican senators would put “more constraints on a process that should be actually working faster.”

The bill would formally reinstate a ban on transfers to Yemen, among other restrictions during Obama’s remaining two years in office. It would repeal current law that has allowed the administration to transfer prisoners to foreign countries and reduce the population at Guantánamo to 122.

Schultz announced the veto threat in response to a question from reporters flying with Obama on Air Force One to California. He said the president believes Guantánamo’s continued operation weakens U.S. national security and must be closed.

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