Promises

Paul Ryan Serves Warning to Obama: 'He Can't' Close Guantanamo

The newly elected speaker of the House says the president does not have the authority to use an executive action to close the prison.

Ryan: Obama Can’t Use Executive Action to Close Gitmo

Newly elected House Speaker Paul Ryan warned President Barack Obama on Tuesday against attempting to use an executive order to close the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

With the Senate following the House on Tuesday in passing a new defense spending bill that included a ban on shuttering the prison and transferring prisoners to U.S. soil, the White House is reportedly mulling the idea of using an executive order to fulfill Obama's campaign promise.

“He can't. He doesn't have the authority to do it. It's just that clear,” Ryan told With All Due Respect host Mark Halperin. 

“Look, we passed the bill in the House with 390 votes, well over enough to override a veto. The Senate today passed this bill with 91 votes, well over what is needed to override a veto,” he said. “The language is very clear that he can't transfer the prisoners, and this is language that was put in the defense bill by Democrats when they ran Congress in the early part of the Obama administration.”

Throughout the interview, Ryan declined to give specifics for tax reform plans that Republicans would soon begin crafting, but he did emphasize the need for “fewer loopholes and deductions.”

Ryan also depicted Social Security and Medicare as being “on the verge of bankruptcy.”

“We need to act to shore them up,” Ryan said. 

Hours before the next Republican presidential debate, Ryan, who was the GOP's vice presidential nominee in 2012, also weighed in on front-runners Donald Trump and Ben Carson. 

“You don't have to be elected in government as a governor or senator or congressman to be an excellent president,” Ryan said about whether those without elected experience should be considered for the presidency. 

(Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the day of the Senate's defense bill passage.)

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