Boehner Vows to Block Thomson Move

"I wouldn't want to bet on when those two pieces of legislation will pass"

By Andrew Greiner
|  Friday, Dec 18, 2009  |  Updated 7:00 AM CDT
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Photos: Thomson Correctional Center

AP

House Republican Leader John Boehner says don't bet on Thomson.

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The top Republican in the House of Representatives, John Boehner (R-Ohio), doesn’t expect to see any Guantanamo Bay detainees in Illinois’ Thomson prison any time soon.

Boehner said he and his House colleagues still have to vote to reverse a measure that bars terrorists from entering the U.S. before any of the prisoners could be transferred. Congress also has to approve funding to purchase the prison that President Obama has singled out as a destination for detainees, according to Reuters.

"I wouldn't want to bet on when those two pieces of legislation will pass, if ever," Boehner said.

The White House responded, saying that closing Guantanamo Bay remains a top priority.

"Our military leaders -- many who also served under the previous administration -- have said that closing Guantanamo will help our troops in the fight against al Qaeda," said White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage.

"President Obama will work closely with Congress until we have closed Guantanamo and removed the deadly recruiting tool for al Qaeda that it has come to be," she said.

Boehner, who has said that the Republican caucus is united against moving the prisoners, said he wouldn’t vote for any such bill. And if the administration tries to attach the measure to war funding, Boehner said he wouldn’t for that bill either.
 
Obama needs all the votes he can get for the Afghanistan war as it is not popular with his own base.

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