Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) will stay in the 113th Congress as chairman of the House subcommittee that doles out Justice Department appropriations.
Wolf, a House member since 1981, has been a tough critic of the Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder. In a sharply worded statement last summer, Wolf initially denied the department’s request to buy an Illinois prison because of what he called it’s “willingness to ignore the law if it is politically expedient.”
While Wolf and a number of other Republican lawmakers opposed the department’s acquisition of Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois, President Barack Obama in October OK’ed the purchase of the prison. Wolf said he was concerned the administration was acquiring the facility so that it could later house Guantanamo Bay detainees if the Cuba military prison were to be closed, a promise made by the president in 2008. Those plans stalled after congressional push back, however, and the department repeatedly said it had no plans to move any terrorist suspects to the Illinois facility.
“As chairman, I am fully committed to providing strong oversight of these agencies to ensure they are fulfilling their mission and spending tax dollars frugally and appropriately,” Wolf said in a statement. “Since my chairmanship began, the subcommittee has cut more than $11 billion in wasteful spending in the FY 2011 and FY 2012 appropriations bills.”
Wolf has served on the subcommittee in some capacity for many years. He was chairman from 2011 to 2012 and from 2001 to 2006. He was the ranking member from 2009 to 2010.