Kevin McCarthy, David Valadao call president's Guantanamo plan 'irresponsible'

File/CNN Newsource

When President Barack Obama took the podium on Tuesday morning, he wasn't just speaking to Congress to try and get them to sign off on his plan to shut down detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay. He was also speaking to men and women who might have elected him because of a seven-year-old promise to the voters.

"This is about closing a chapter in our history," said Obama. "Because we had bi-partisan support, I wanted to make sure we did it right."

The president said he thought that Democrats and Republicans agreed at the time of his promise. Even if that's true, it certainly isn't true today -- especially for some of the men who want his job.

"Let me say this, Mr. President," shouted Ted Cruz at a rally in Nevada to promote his run for president. "Don't shut down Gitmo! Expand it, and let's have some new terrorists there!"

"We're going to load it up with some bad dudes," yelled Donald Trump at a similar rally. "We're going to load it up!"

Either way, Obama said his plan to move about 50 prisoners to the United States make sense because Guantanamo has become a recruiting tool for terrorists and is way too expensive. Plus, at a certain point, it also comes down to politics.

"Guantanamo harms our partnerships with allies in other countries whose cooperation we need against terrorism," said Obama. "When I talk to other world leaders, they bring up the fact that Guantanamo's not resolved."

Obama vowed to "work with Congress to find a secure location in the United States to hold remaining detainees," but he hasn't outlined exactly where the prisoners would be transferred to. That being said, Congress is controlled by the Republicans, and they say he's not working with them at all.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy says the whole plan is illegal and out of bounds.

"Congress has made its position clear time and again: it is dangerous and irresponsible to close Guantanamo Bay," he wrote in a statement. "This latest proposal from the Administration is not complete and it would sacrifice U.S. national security for the sake of a misguided campaign pledge."

Congressman David Valadao agrees, calling the president's plan a way to "undermine national security."

"As President Obama's time as Commander in Chief continues to dwindle, the President is attempting to fulfill the promises he made seven years ago, regardless of how irresponsible they may be," wrote Valadao in a statement. "Moving the world's most dangerous terrorists to United States soil without Congressional authorization is not only illegal, but it puts every single American in danger."

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