Appropriations Chairman Blasts Obama Administration’s Decision to Open Thomson Prison without Approval from Congress
Congress Opposed Administration’s Proposal to Use the Facility to House Guantanamo Detainees, Denied Taxpayer Funds to Open the Prison
October 2, 2012 -
House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers blasted today’s decision by the Obama Administration to ignore Congressional objections and move to buy Thomson Prison – a long-closed detention facility in Illinois. The controversial Thomson Prison was the site proposed by the Obama Administration for use as a facility to house Guantanamo Bay detainees on U.S. soil, and attempts to open the prison with taxpayer dollars have been met with strong objections from Congress and the American people.
“The Obama Administration has been trying for years to open Thomson prison in order to transfer terrorists from Guantanamo Bay into the United States. Congress has vehemently denied this request and has refused funding for the prison at every step of the way. The American people do not want Guantanamo detainees in the U.S., and should not have to tolerate the risk of these terrorists residing in their backyards,” Chairman Rogers said. “This back-door move by the Obama Administration to open Thomson and reject the will of Congress and the American people is dangerously irresponsible, and will be met with the full and unfettered opposition of the Appropriations Committee,” he continued.
Rogers also commented on the potential exorbitant cost of the facility to the American taxpayers.
“The purchase of Thomson prison will be at least $165 million dollars, and upgrading and activating the facility could bring the cost to nearly double that. To make these financial matters more ridiculous, the federal government already owns four additional empty prison facilities, which are awaiting activation. In the very least, the purchase of Thomson is a waste – and as a Guantanamo-like facility, it could be a disaster,” Rogers said.