2. Republicans who recently helped Obama try to close Gitmo may balk after this decision
Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, surprised many GOP colleague in December by going along with language easing restrictions on sending Guantanamo Bay detainees home or to third countries — a potential first step toward helping Obama fulfill his promise to close the island prison facility.
But the deal to release Bergdahl was done without the involvement of Congress. That could set off Republican lawmakers who last year cooperated to lift restrictions.
President Obama traveling in Poland on Tuesday said the deal should not surprise members of Congress because the basic outlines of it have been discussed for years.
Even Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who chairs the Armed Services Committee, disagrees.
“No, I think there was a conversation about a release a long time ago in exchange to facilitate reconciliation,” he said in an interview Monday. “I don’t think I knew anything about it that until last weekend whenever I got a call.”