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house Bill H. Res. 644

Scolding Obama for Negotiating with Terrorists

Argument in favor

President Obama violated Constitutional law by not informing Congress of this illegal prisoner exchange. At the very least he deserves to be censured.

A's Opinion
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05/20/2015
While I think it is a successful exchange and Obama did a good job with it, he did not run it by Congress like the law specifically states. He violated the law even if what he did was good.
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Gail's Opinion
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04/27/2015
Obama is a traitor he should be behind bars
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Argument opposed

President Obama facilitated the successful release of an American POW in an exchange that Congress would have stymied for political reasons. At the very least he deserves a medal.

Dinnerandamurder's Opinion
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03/22/2016
It sounds like he is far from the first President to do this and it would take a judge to decide if it was legal or not. Article II does seem to cover it. All that aside, it sure does sound like he had a very good reason for doing so. Were past presidents censured for doing it? That should determine the right course of action here.
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Thomas's Opinion
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03/13/2015
Really? Congress needs to stop acting like children and get on with the real work that they were elected to handle for the American people.
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What is House Bill H. Res. 644?

This resolution condemns and disapproves of the Obama administration's permission for the release of five high-value Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay on May 31, 2014.

The resolution notes that the detained officers belong to an organization that cooperated with al-Qaeda as part of the 9/11 attacks, and raises concern that this release will have a detrimental effect on national security.


The resolution criticizes Obama and his administration for negotiating with the Taliban and the Haqqani network to secure the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. It also condemns the White House for neglecting to notify Congress of this negotiation until the prisoner exchange occurred.

According to the resolution, Congress has Constitutional authority to legislate prisoner exchanges, and the current members of the national security committees are opposed to it. It also states that the President is obligated to inform Congress of a prisoner exchange 30 days in advance, which Obama did not do.

Impact

President Barack Obama, his administration, the White House, the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility, the Department of Defense, and Congress.

More Information

In Depth:

Republicans in Congress were furious when President Obama informed them that he had facilitated a prisoner exchange after the fact. Five Taliban ranking officers were transferred to Qatar from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, an American POW held captive for over 5 years.


The White House argued that it had no choice but to act covertly because the Taliban threatened to kill Bergdahl if the plan was widely leaked. This argument hasn’t assuaged members of Congress who claim Obama’s administration violated Constitutional law by not informing representatives of the plan 30 days in advance.


Some legal experts have stated that the President broke a statute, but that it’s a routine violation presidents have been known to commit. Some have also argued that Obama had the right to keep Congress in the dark under
Article II of the Constitution, which gives the President the authority to unilaterally pursue national security matters.

Media:

The Hill

The Blaze

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia user Illegitimate Barrister)

Official Title

Condemning and disapproving of the failure of the Obama administration to comply with the lawful statutory requirement to notify Congress before transferring individuals detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and expressing concern about the national security risks over the transfer of five Taliban leaders and the repercussions of negotiating with terrorists.

simple resolution Progress


  • The house Passed September 9th, 2014
    Roll Call Vote 249 Yea / 163 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Armed Services
    IntroducedJune 25th, 2014

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    It sounds like he is far from the first President to do this and it would take a judge to decide if it was legal or not. Article II does seem to cover it. All that aside, it sure does sound like he had a very good reason for doing so. Were past presidents censured for doing it? That should determine the right course of action here.
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    Share
    Really? Congress needs to stop acting like children and get on with the real work that they were elected to handle for the American people.
    Like (1)
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    While I think it is a successful exchange and Obama did a good job with it, he did not run it by Congress like the law specifically states. He violated the law even if what he did was good.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    Obama is a traitor he should be behind bars
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    While we don't negotiate with terrorists, those POW's are heroes and they needed our help.
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    POW lives trump terrorist detainees.
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