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The PJ Tatler

Bridget Johnson


July 24, 2014 - 2:58 pm

The House Armed Services Committee will next week bring up a bipartisan resolution condemning President Obama’s release of five Taliban leaders in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Obama didn’t notify Congress before the early June swap, which brought to an end five years of captivity for Bergdahl. The administration claims they had to make an emergency decision because of concerns about Bergdahl’s health.

Bergdahl has completed his reintegration process and is now back on active duty in Texas while the Pentagon investigates the circumstances surrounding his capture.

On Tuesday, the committee will consider a bill from Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), along with Reps. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), John Barrow (D-Ga.), and Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), to condemn the commander in chief.

The bill has a total of 82 co-sponsors. It:

(1) condemns and disapproves of the failure of the Obama administration to comply with the lawful 30-day statutory reporting requirement in executing the release of five senior members of the Taliban from detention at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba;

(2) expresses grave concern over national security implications that may arise due to the release of Taliban officials, including the national security threat to the people and Armed Forces of the United States and complications of the current efforts of the United States to combat terrorism worldwide;

(3) expresses grave concern over the repercussions of negotiating with terrorists, and the risk that such negotiations with terrorists may further encourage hostilities and the abduction of Americans as a means of further prisoner exchanges;

(4) stipulates that further violations of the law set forth in section 1035 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (Public Law 113-66; 10 U.S.C. 801 note) and section 8111 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014 (Public Law 113-76) are unacceptable;

(5) declares grave misgivings about the prospect of any other similar transfers from United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, even if undertaken pursuant to statutory requirements; and

(6) expresses that the Obama administration’s release of the five detainees has burdened unnecessarily the trust and confidence in the administration’s commitment and ability to constructively engage and work with the legislative branch, and therefore works against what is in the best interest of the people of the United States.

Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), who noted after the transfer that administration officials were giving contradictory information to lawmakers, stressed that “when the president takes his oath of office, he is duty bound to  follow the laws set by the American people.”

“Here, his office broke a law that was originally adopted by his own party in the Senate, passed by a large bipartisan majority in Congress and signed by the president himself.  Just as the president must do his duty, so must Congress,” McKeon said. “Congressman Rigell’s legislation sends the clear message that following the law isn’t optional.”

“President Obama’s actions in regard to the prisoner exchange ignore the law and put our national security at risk. America is not a monarchy and no president is king,” said Rigell, who has previously noted the president’s imperialist tendencies in an amendment last summer chiding Obama to abide the War Powers Resolution. “The House is prepared to remind the president of this. This bipartisan resolution is an official repudiation of President Obama’s actions, and I appreciate the chairman’s leadership in bringing this important resolution to the committee for a markup.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (6)
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didn't a bill that would allow people to be fired for incompetence in the VA reach the senate to be ignored by Reid.???????
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Surely I am not alone thinking we are all tired of the farce being played out by Obama and the useless Congress and Supreme Court. An ignorant nobody and his
fake family, without a single legal paper to support his candidacy, has stolen two terms of office from a people who then watched him destroy the country he should be leading. If nothing has been done to stop him, or even slow him down, if we are too stupid, too lazy.....we're also too late !! Live with it.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama already has violated the Constitution, repeatedly, with little backlash. So, to paraphrase Hillary Clinton: "What difference, at this time, does this resolution make"?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ya gotta love those bipartisan committees or whatever.

As if they have nothing better to do to than this ridiculous ploy to get ther fifteen minutes of fame. Or is it to pretend they are doing the job they were hired to do for the People?

With representatives of the People like these who needs enemies?

Still it must be said they were each and all - bipartisans - selected by those People - as representative. Or at least the few that cared enough to turn up and tick the box at the polls. So the ones who didn't bother have selected them by default.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
reid will never allow this to reach the floor of the senate and the MSM will not cover it.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
This, of course, is DOA when it hits Reid's desk.

A laudable exercise but still one in futility.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
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