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Sen. Huthcison's Statement on Federal Purchase of Thomson Prison


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U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice, and Science, issued the following statement on the news of the Obama Administration's decision to acquire the Thomson Prison in Illinois:

"The decision by President Obama to purchase the Thomson Prison in Illinois is an unprecedented move that ignores the clear intent of Congress.

"As the Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee overseeing the Justice Department, I specifically turned down this spending request twice, as did Chairman Frank Wolf in the House.

"This expenditure has not been approved by Congress. It amounts to moving money from funds appropriated for other purposes.

"The state of Illinois is facing a budget deficit of $44 billion and this use of federal funds appears to be an attempt to help close that gap. At the president's direction, the Thomson Prison is being purchased at $165 million, nearly $40 million more than the original cost to construct it.

"There is plenty of excess federal prison space. This purchase is therefore unnecessary and it is a huge waste of money going to the president's home state at a time when we are racking up deficits of $1 trillion a year."

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