U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross (FL-15) applauds the passage of his amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014, which would have eliminated additional taxpayer-funded recreational facilities for terrorist detainees at the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. His statement follows:
"I cannot help but remember that the federal government wasted $750,000 last year to build a recreational soccer field in Guantanamo Bay for detainees. I thought it was a ridiculous idea then, and I think it is a ridiculous idea now.
"At a time when we have an out-of-control backlog of Veterans claims pending a decision - taxpayer funding was wasted building a soccer field for terrorists?
"At a time when the President's Administration is proposing to drastically raise TRICARE fees on service members and their families - $750,000 were spent to improve the recreational facilities for terrorist detainees?
"At a time when we can't give seniors a fair cost-of-living increase in benefits?
"Or at a time when families across the country are making tough cutbacks in their own budgets, we're building soccer fields in Cuba?
"Guantanamo Bay is a detention facility for terrorists captured on the battlefield or apprehended actively planning to do harm to Americans. As such, Guantanamo Bay should not be a place of comfort; rather, it should house the world's most dangerous terrorists in a humane manner, providing only the bare essentials.
"Our Founding Fathers made it clear that the federal government has no higher duty than to provide for the common defense.
"Rather than balancing the budget on the backs of our military, Department of Defense employees, seniors, and families, Congress should prevent wasteful projects like this -- period."