Republican Led House Passes an Unconstitutional Defense Spending Bill


Led by the GOP, the House passed a defense spending bill today that violated the constitution separation of powers by stripping President Obama of his Commander in Chief authority.

By a vote of 340-73, the House passed a defense spending bill that includes a provision that forbids President Obama from moving any detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay for a year.

The problem with this piece of legislation is that it is not constitutional.

Before the House passed the bill, the White House had already labeled the GITMO provisions unconstitutional, “The Administration strongly objects to sections 8107, 8108, 8139, and 9015 of the bill, each of which would restrict the Executive Branch’s ability to manage the Guantánamo detainee population. The President has repeatedly objected to the inclusion of these or similar provisions in prior legislation and this year has reiterated his call to the Congress to lift such restrictions. As the President said in his State of the Union Address, “this needs to be the year Congress lifts the remaining restrictions on detainee transfers and we close the prison at Guantánamo Bay.” Operating the detention facility at Guantánamo weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners, and emboldening violent extremists. These provisions are unwarranted and threaten to interfere with the Executive Branch’s ability to determine the appropriate disposition of detainees and its flexibility to determine when and where to prosecute Guantánamo detainees based on the facts and circumstances of each case and our national security interests. Sections 8107, 8139, and 9015 would, moreover, violate constitutional separation-of-powers principles under certain circumstances.”

The White House is correct on this one. Republicans have always tried to ignore this fact, but the GITMO detainees that were captured during armed conflict are prisoners of war. The House does not have the constitutional authority to forbid the president from doing anything with POWs. This is why, until now, congress has chosen to block President Obama’s efforts to close the prison by withholding funding.

The House of Representatives is limited to controlling the power of the purse, and congressional oversight. Republicans and Democrats who voted for this bill stepped way over the line, and violated the constitution. Republicans sought no legislation to limit George W. Bush when he released or transferred 500 detainees from GITMO.

Instead of fighting President Obama to keep an abomination to international law open, Congress should do the right thing and appropriate the funds to close down the prison at Guantanamo Bay once and for all.

47 Replies to “Republican Led House Passes an Unconstitutional Defense Spending Bill”

  1. Repulicans are going to get us all killed. These freaks will even have our friends declaring war on us. Sooner or later the other countries will see how rabid these people and work with each other to take us out

  2. 370 voted for this? How many cowardly ass dummycrats signed their name to this bill? Did you dummycrats sign it to protect the military industrial welfare or you truly believe that gitmo should be our Devils Island? SPEAK THE F*CK UP DUMMYCRATS!!!!

  3. Nothing these idiot do surprises me any more. Where was the Democratic leadership??? The Repubs. using scare tactics that if this bill did not pass then we would not be PATRIOTIC and supporting our troops.

  4. So instead of wasting time and OUR money on worthless repeal ACA votes, now they are playing games like this. That whole worthless bunch needs to be kicked out and start over. They aren’t legislating, they’re just playing games. Man am i pi**ed.

  5. pray telme, what did obama do or violated? in faux world, yes. in the real world, you are pathetically delusional!

  6. Seems to me a lot of people up there in the house don’t know or understand the constitution. The President does not have to follow this unconstitutional bill.

  7. I’m still waiting for the answer as to how Obama violated the constitution.But this is typical republican tactics. Whenever they do something wrong (voter fraud and supression, pass unconstitutional bills, violate campaign financing, you name it) they accuse the democrats of doing it.

  8. GITMO is a Constitutional failure no matter how you look at it. Either the detainees are POWs and should be treated as such, which includes release when the war in Afghanistan ends, or treated as criminals, and allowed a jury trial, which the military doesn’t want, due to their demands for secrecy about the case against the detainees. Either way, GITMO’s days should be SEVERELY numbered, which the GOP doesn’t want because they want to pretend that it still being open is Obama’s fault, after they’ve passed bill after bill to PREVENT him closing it.

  9. Roughly 110 Democrats, too. What, were they all out to lunch when those pocket copies of the Constitution were handed out by the neocons?

    It’s a sad state of affairs when all the hoary old lifers in Congress, of both parties, retire and any institutional intelligence goes out the door with them.

  10. So the no vote, please explain or you don’t have a grasp of the English language to articulate your thoughts. Figures, now who is the idiot bagger

  11. I don’t know which Democrats voted for this, but my guess is the ones who did vote for it have a lot of military constituents. If their districts/states have a lot of bases, there’s no way they’d vote against it, not given all that the bill includes.

  12. I guess the R’s would rather feed clothe house ad give free healthcare to these non citizens than put them back on the battlefield where we can send them to be with Osama Bin Ladin.. They care more about taking care of them terrorist than our own citizens! If we had a covert way of tracking them back to their hive it would be nice to get them all at once. We cant take them out when we have them on our teet!

  13. It’s time to get rid of this entire Congress, or at least give them all competency test. This is evidence that a lot of them needs a lobotomy. We know that the GOP/Teabaggers have no brains, but the democrats are becoming useless. I said it once and I’ll say it again. VOTE VOTE VOTE. WE are in charge of our lives and we can’t afford to allow them to destroy the little we have.

  14. I have a better suggestion, have Bush et al arrested for war crimes and if the Republicans in Congress object, have them arrested for obstructing justice. Like Thom Hartmann says, if Obama release the prisoners at Guantanamo, there then is the possibility of Bush et al of being arrested for war crimes.

  15. Between Congress and the SCOTUS, I don’t know which is more dysfunctional and harmful to us and our nation. While there are good people in/on both, I am more than perplexed with their work done over the last few years. Sad day today thanks to the House and their incredible myopic view of what our nation needs.

  16. It appears the Dems got suckered into voting for this for three reasons as I see it:
    1) It contained a pay raise for military personnel,
    2) it contained provisions limiting NSA domestic activities, and
    3)IT’S AN ELECTION YEAR, Constitution be damned.

  17. What? To prevent President Obama from closing Gitmo they are withholding funds from Gitmo? How will that work?

  18. The fact is that keeping these people at GITMO
    without trials is ruining the US reputation in law abiding countries GITMO is illegal
    and is one of the reasons the muslim countries
    hate us, it is used to encourage attacks on us.

  19. They ALL NEED TO LOSE THEIR JOBS.Sadly to many of the Dem’s are spineless cowards who care only about keeping their jobs. We need some new blood .

  20. Every democrat who voted for this bill– names should be make public. They hide in the shadows when people start screaming that the president didn’t close Gitmo. This is why the president is having trouble with the closing & transfer..

    Who is holding these dems. accountable? Where are all the emprog? ACLU? Code Pink?
    All the Ed Schultz, Maddow, etc.? I here nothing, until the president said/do something. Then they rushing for a camera.

  21. I agree these democrats are dangerous to our country. We need to check the vote list and get their names out to the general public. Bring the force of their constituents to bare and let them know that their vote is not acceptable.

  22. So when Boehnerhead became leader, didnt he have all members recite the Constitution in an idiotic childish display of arrogance? Didnt he read it? Looks like he didnt

  23. Sounds like you’re more interested in achieving anarchy than solutions.
    Too bad for you that pesky Constitution is correct in this circumstance. Congress is gonna lose this one too. Even that corrupt Supreme Court won’t be able to deny that it’s unconstitutional.

  24. Just another example why as a progressive I left the Democratic party years ago. The modern day Democratic party is weak and seems like they are always on the defensive. Progressives within the Democratic party need to pull off a Tea party style renaissance and force the party back to its liberal Main street roots or leave the party. Cannot get excited over another Clinton in the white house either. Might as well just elect Goldman Sacs in to the White House. Check out the Green Party.

  25. Congress’s first priority should be in following its Constitutional requirement. Declare war or end it.

  26. Abbyjo2001 why are we, any of us surprised, the rethugs have done exactly what they said they were going to do Obstruct

  27. Dear Republicans:

    In the future, please elect sane adults. If you can’t find sane adults, then at least elect sane children with maturity levels greater than the juvenile delinquents currently in Congress.

    Signed: The Entire World

  28. In 2013 a bill was passed by Congress specifically on the Guantanamo detainees requiring Congressional approval for their release. This was passed after Bush left office.

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