According to Cruz, the president cannot be trusted to make any further decisions on prisoner releases until he explains the release of the "Taliban Five."
Five prisoners were released from Guantanamo Bay at the end of May in exchange for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdal without congressional approval, even as military and intelligence officials had voiced concerns over the move.
The prisoner swap has provoked severe backlash from the American public, as well as from lawmakers, including those within his own party. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein loudly expressed her outrage and accused the president of "totally breaking the law." The president's actions were in violation of a law that requires that Congress receive notification at least 30 days prior to the release of any Guantanamo prisoner. Senator Lindsey Graham, member of the Armed Services Committee, warned that any further releases could result in calls for impeachment.
Senator Cruz does not wish to take any chances, however, and introduced a bill on Friday that would see to it that there will be no further releases.
The bill "will prohibit any funds from being spent on transferring or releasing Guantanamo detainees until either 90 days after submitting a report to Congress that justifies the release of the Taliban 5, or 180 days after this bill is signed into law," according to a press release from Senator Cruz’s office. The desired report must assess whether the terrorists will "reengage in terrorist activities after their transfer, return to Afghanistan, or increase the likelihood that the Taliban or other terrorist organizations will attempt to capture U.S. citizens in order to barter with the U.S."
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