The White House is seeking to empty Guantanamo Bay of as many detainees as possible, but what it'll do with those who can not be transferred is still unclear.
A transfer on Thursday of 10 Yemeni prisoners to Oman brought the total population of the military prison in Cuba to 93, the first time fewer than 100 prisoners have been detained at the prison since 2002.
Of the 93 remaining, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said 34 have been reviewed and deemed safe for transfer, meaning they can leave as soon as the administration works out security arrangements with countries willing to take them.
But there is at least some portion of the prisoner population that everyone agrees can not be released.
"Not everyone in Gitmo can be safely transferred to another country, so we need an alternative. I have therefore framed for the president a proposal to establish an alternative location. That plan will propose bringing those detainees to an appropriate, secure location in the United States," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Thursday during a speech in Florida.
The plan to bring those terrorists to America, however, has met significant opposition in Congress, especially from those lawmakers who would see the prisoners housed in their home states.
Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., said constituents at a listening session he held recently almost unanimously voiced their concern about Gitmo detainees coming to their state.
"All but a couple of folks who attended that thing were very concerned about having these terrorists relocated to a facility in their backyard. I don't know about the other two sites, but in Kansas, it's yards from a residential area," Pompeo told the Washington Examiner.
In addition to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, officials from the Pentagon also visited military and federal prisons in South Carolina and Colorado last year to look at how much it would cost to house Gitmo detainees in the U.S.
Republican senators from the three states sat together during this week's State of the Union speech to show their opposition to housing Gitmo detainees in their home states.
"The American people and Congress have been extremely clear: Guantanamo Bay houses some of the world's deadliest terrorists," Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., said in a statement. "They do not belong back on the battlefield fighting against us, nor do they belong on U.S. soil. Bringing them here would be reckless and dangerous."
Current law prohibits the administration from bringing any detainees to the U.S. for any reason.
The Obama administration has been working on a plan that would ask Congress to change that. The Pentagon said late last year that the plan would be coming soon, but lawmakers still haven't seen any specifics.
Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Thursday that he has no idea when to expect the plan from the White House to be delivered to Capitol Hill.
"I would hope that the White House would send the plan up as soon as possible so we can get on to seriously looking at the plan," Reed told reporters in his office on Thursday.
President Obama has argued from his first day in office that closing Guantanamo Bay is a priority both because it is expensive and because terrorists around the world use it for recruitment, as evidenced by Westerners wearing orange jumpsuits, the signature uniform of Gitmo, in execution videos filmed by the Islamic State.
But Pompeo said these reasons for closure are "absurd."
"There were Islamic terrorist attacks before Guantanamo Bay was created, and it is not a common occurrence that terrorists say it was all good, I was hanging out with my buddies, but then I heard there was this facility with 100 folks in Guantanamo Bay, and now I'm going to go out and kill some people," he said.
Rudy Takala contributed to this report.