House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Tuesday said he had concerns about the Obama administration’s decision to release five Guantanamo Bay prisoners in exchange for the freedom of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and called for congressional hearings.
“And while we all rejoice for Sergeant Bergdahl and his family, it is important that we get clarity in the days and weeks ahead about not only how this exchange came about but what steps the President has taken to guarantee this exchange is not a signal that it is open season on our fellow citizens, both military and civilian personnel, serving our country abroad so faithfully,” Boehner said in a statement. “One of their greatest protections – knowing that the United States does not negotiate with terrorists – has been compromised.”
Boehner lamented that the administration did not consult Congress before making the final decision to negotiate for Bergdahl’s release, despite earlier briefings on the situation.
“There was every expectation that the administration would re-engage with Congress, as it did before, and the only reason it did not is because the administration knew it faced serious and sober bipartisan concern and opposition,” he said in the statement.