Washington (CNN) -- The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said he would like to see more detainees brought to the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.
Rep. Buck McKeon, R-California, just returned from his first visit to the detention facility.
"I would like to see if we have detainees in other parts of the world that we can't seem to decide what to do with, that would be a place for them," McKeon told reporters during a news conference Tuesday.
Earlier this month President Barack Obama, who had promised when he entered office that he would close the facility within a year, signed a new defense spending bill that prohibits bringing any of the 170 or so detainees at the facility to the United States. But immediately after signing the bill, he said he would work to repeal that provision.
McKeon is very much opposed to bringing terror suspects being detained in Cuba to the United States.
"Our nation has invested millions of dollars in building state of the art humane and safe facilities to detain and prosecute the terrorist detainees at Guantanamo. It would be fiscally and morally irresponsible to shutter the facility and invest in new facilities in the United States," McKeon said.
McKeon said that the facility could handle hundreds more detainees from other facilities around the world.
"We can handle up to 800 there and rather that then spend millions or billions building new facilities and moving elsewhere when we've already spent so much and we already have such a great facility there."
One of the members who went with McKeon on the trip Monday to Guantanamo Bay, Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Arkansas, said he might be willing to consider bringing detainees from other facilities around the world to Gitmo.
"Certainly if there are individuals who would be better suited to that I would be open to looking at it," Griffin said.