“Durbin: Feds to write $165 million check to state for unused prison” @ Chicago Tribune

Posted on October 2, 2012

Rick Pearson — October 2, 2012: “U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said today that under President Barack Obama’s directive, the federal Department of Justice will purchase the long-unused Thomson prison in northwestern Illinois, cutting a check and bypassing the objections of a veteran Republican U.S. House member who had blocked the sale.

‘Finally, the Department of Justice this afternoon is going to present the $165 million check in the Northern District court of Illinois in Rockford to pay for the transfer,’ said Durbin, who acknowledged it was a ”rare” move to bypass a high-ranking House Appropriations Committee member. “At this point, the president had to intervene and do this directly. I hope people understand he’s doing it for his state.’

Veteran Virginia Republican Rep. Frank Wolf had long blocked the federal Bureau of Prisons purchase of the prison from the state of Illinois, saying he did not trust the Obama administration’s vow not to transfer suspected terrorists from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, into the facility despite a federal law that prohibits such moves. Wolf also said he did not trust Attorney General Eric Holder, whom the GOP-led House found in contempt for the failed Fast and Furious gun-walking program………………………………”

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