When President Obama ran for office the first time in 2008, he made the political promise to close down Guantanamo Bay Prison. Once he entered the Oval Office, that promise became difficult to keep as Americans overwhelmingly rejected bringing Islamic terrorists to their neighborhoods in the United States. As a result Obama has found other ways to empty out the prison, including his decision to swap five Taliban commanders for traitor and deserter Bowe Berghdahl.
Now, Obama is using the bipartisan defense budget to throw a temper tantrum about GITMO funding and is threatening a veto unless funding for the prison is pulled. From AP:
The Senate moved forward Tuesday on a sweeping, $612 billion defense policy bill despite a presidential veto threat stemming from larger budget disputes that have hamstrung Washington.
The vote was 73-26, 13 votes more than necessary to break any filibuster. The Senate is expected to pass the measure Wednesday and send it to President Barack Obama.
The defense policy bill is one of the few bipartisan measures in Congress that has readily become law for more than a half-century, but Obama’s veto threat jeopardizes the legislation.
Further, the White House is claiming the veto threat is also a result of Congress refusing to increase funding for domestic law enforcement agencies, but according to the Washington Post, the funding Obama is demanding isn't for important things like fighting ISIS. More details on that.
Earlier this week, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest indicated Obama plans to be stubborn on the issue and that the veto threat stands.
“The current version that was passed through the House of Representatives is something that the president would veto principally because of this — of the irresponsible way that it funds our national defense priorities, but also because of the efforts to prevent the closure [of] the prison at Guantánamo Bay,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday. “So our position on this hasn’t changed. We continue to feel strongly about it.”