Obama: Defense Department to Submit Plan to Close Guantánamo

The Takeaway

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Ninety-one prisoners remain at Guantánamo Bay, the military prison President Obama has been trying to close since he first took office in 2009.

Today, the president began his final push to close Guantánamo before he leaves the White House in January. Obama announced that the Department of Defense (DOD) is formally submitting a plan to Congress to close the facility once and for all.

"It has been clear that the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay does not advance our national security—it undermines it," President Obama said Tuesday. "Keeping this facility open is contrary to our values, and it undermines our standing in the world." 

President Obama said the U.S. government spent nearly $450 million to keep the facility running in 2015. Under the DOD's plan, the U.S. will save more than $1 billion over the next 20 years, Obama said. The president added that the administration intends to work with Congress to find a secure location in the U.S. to hold the remaining detainees.

Click on the audio player above to hear Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich discuss the president's announcement. 

Watch Obama's full announcement below.