Congressman Tony Gonzales Offers Amendment To Bar Closure of Guantanamo Bay
On Wednesday I offered an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations bill prohibiting funds from being used to close Guantanamo Bay or house Guantanamo Bay detainees on United States soil. The amendment was offered during the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs markup. The amendment – that has traditionally been bipartisan – was blocked by Democrats.
Watch my full remarks here.
My amendment would prohibit funds appropriated by this bill from being used to close or realign Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.
It also prohibits funds from being used to accommodate Guantanamo Bay detainees on U.S. soil.
This provision has been enacted in every year since 2010. If you have voted in favor of the annual appropriations bills for the last decade, you have supported this language.
I spent 20 years in the Navy, and just a couple of years ago, I was in Guantanamo Bay. My rank was Master Chief. The role of a Master Chief is to take care of sailors, to make sure the health and well-being of sailors is being handled properly by the commands.
So, when I visited Guantanamo Bay, often times we think of detainees. But what we don’t realize is Guantanamo Bay offers so much more.
It is so critical to our national security piece in that region of the world. When it comes to the detainee part of it, it’s also critical.
I spent 20 years in the military, 18 years were at war, 5 years was in Iraq and Afghanistan. Often times these detainees are not friendly people. They have caused America harm for a very long time.
What I don’t want to see is these detainees released or sent to American shores. We have enough problems as it is.
We have to make sure these enemies of the state, enemies of America, remain where they are. It is so critical that Guantanamo Bay stays part of our national security aspect.