Ron Estes on Homeland Security
Excerpts from Letter to Pres. Obama: In 2008,the City of Leavenworth initially became aware of the possibility of a transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees. We understand that the Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth is the only maximum security prison within the Department of Defense. However, you must understand our justifiable trepidation about moving to Kansas some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world. Should this transfer move forward, many of our Middle Eastern allies who send officers to train at Fort Leavenworth will likely stop the practice. The people of Leavenworth, Kansas--regardless of political parties--are strongly against transferring Guantanamo detainees to American soil.
Opposing argument: (ACLU, "Wasted Opportunities," Feb. 2, 2017): The ACLU has repeatedly stated that the prison at Guantanamo Bay is an affront to American values and the rule of law. But detention at Guantanamo breaks the budget as much as it is wrong. This unnecessary and wasteful spending comes at a time when budgets are shrinking and even the most vital programs for veterans, service members, and their families are subject to painful cuts. The injustice of Guantanamo is costing us a fortune.
Supporting argument: (Cato Institute, "A Problem for the Next Person in Charge," Feb. 23, 2016) President Obama's plan to close the Guantanamo Bay prison is really a plea to Congress to stop banning the transfer of detainees to the US for trial or indefinite detention. The administration argues that closing Gitmo is a "national security imperative" and a resource drain. Both points are overstated. Yes, Gitmo is bad for the nationís image but there is little evidence that the prison, as opposed to US wars, generates terrorism. Yes, closing the prison would save $335 million over 10 years, but that is .00005% of projected Pentagon spending over the decade, leaving aside war costs.
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Special elections in 2017 (Democrats):
CA-34:Gomez(D; elected June 6)
Newly-elected Democrats seated Jan.2017:
Special elections in 2017 (Republicans):
KS-4:Estes(R; elected April 11)
GA-6:Handel(R; elected June 20)
MT-0:Gianforte(R; elected May 25)
SC-5:Norman(R; elected June 20)
Newly-elected Republicans seated Jan.2017: