WASHINGTON, October 11 (RIA Novosti) — The White House's plan to close the Guantanamo Bay prison is dangerous, and is opposed by the majority of Americans, according to US House Speaker John Boehner.
"Even as Islamic jihadists are beheading Americans, the White House is so eager to bring these terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to the United States that it is examining ways to thwart Congress and unilaterally re-write the law," the statement issued by the speaker's press office on Friday reads.
"Not only is this scheme dangerous, it is yet another example of what will be this administration's legacy of lawlessness," Boehner stated.
The statement was published following the report by The Wall Street Journal that claimed the Obama administration was weighing options to override a congressional ban on transferring Guantanamo detainees to US soil.
"An overwhelming majority of the American people and bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate oppose importing the terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay into the United States," Boehner stated.
However, the White House denied later on Friday accusations that it was trying to circumvent the legislative process.
"We do not know what new press reports are referring to when they say the Administration is "drafting options" intended to "override a congressional ban," White House National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden told RIA Novosti on Friday.
Hayden added that the White House continued to call on the Congress to enable the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison, however, denied media reports about Barack Obama's plans to do it by an executive order.
The law in question has been included annually in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), requiring the President to first consult Congress prior to transferring prisoners out of Guantanamo. Many members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat, reacted strongly when Obama carried out a unilateral exchange of five Guantanamo detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in May.
Closing the controversial prison would allow the president to finally achieve a campaign promise made in 2008, despite the fact that, according to a recent Gallup poll, most Americans oppose shutting it down.
There are currently 149 prisoners being held in Guantanamo Bay, which was established in the wake of 9/11 to detain suspected terrorists.