A leader on the House Appropriations Committee said he is rejecting a request from the administration to fund the purchase of a prison in Illinois, citing the Justice Department’s “willingness to ignore the law if it is politically expedient.”
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), chairman of the subcommittee that funds the Justice Department, wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder today saying he “unequivocally” rejects the $165 million earmark request to buy the Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois.
The facility has been a source of controversy: It was intended to house suspected terrorist detainees transfered from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, back before President Obama scrapped plans to close the military prison.
“Frankly, I do not trust the department or the administration to enforce the law forbidding the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States,” Wolf wrote.
The lawmaker noted a number of instances in which the administration has “ignored the law,” including Operation Fast and Furious and the Defense of Marriage Act, among others. Wolf also noted news reports that asserted Holder advocated for the transfer and release of two detainees in 2009. The operation was eventually called off, he writes.