Minority Leader John Boehner held a press conference this morning to announce that he will be introducing a bill today, The Keep Terrorists Out of America Act. It sounds nutty that such a bill would even be needed, but these are strange times. The bill affirms Congress’s opposition to transferring or releasing terrorists held at Guantanamo into the United States. It also prohibits the Administration from transferring or releasing any detainees without express approval from the state’s governor and legislature, and certifies to Congress that strict requirements have been met. And finally, the bill prohibits the president from transferring or releasing a terrorist detainee into the United States unless he provides a notification and certification to Congress which includes such information as the name and location of the detainee and information concerning our ability to keep the individual within the U.S.
I suppose there might be reasons to oppose the bill. Certainly it is an infringement on the president’s authority to conduct detention policies during war. But Democrats for eight years always thought that was a positive thing. So who in Congress will object? Democrats feeling the need to run interference for Obama can try to slow walk it through House committees, but I wonder why they wouldn’t speed along a measure which is bound to be quite popular. And they wouldn’t, I suspect, want to be caught dawdling while the president proceeds ahead with plans to release the seventeen Uighurs and perhaps others as well. Really, it would look simply awful if the president released the Uighurs into the U.S. while Nancy Pelosi stalled a measure that could have stopped the release. The political backlash would be frightful. She is much too smart for that, right?