Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and Gov. Pat Quinn have asked a Republican congressman from Virginia to end his opposition to the purchase by the U.S. of the Thomson Correctional Center in western Illinois.
Rep. Frank Wolf chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the federal Bureau of Prisons. In a letter sent Friday, Durbin asked that Wolf approve a Justice Department request to move $165 million from other programs to purchase Thompson.
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In his letter to Wolf, Quinn noted bipartisan support for the purchase. Wolf's office hasn't responded to requests for comment.
Wolf has said he opposes the prison purchase on fears terrorism suspects would be housed there.
The Justice Department has said the acquisition of Thomson, completed in 2001 and unused since, will help alleviate serious federal prison crowding.