The federal government wants to buy a prison and Illinois has one to sell. But the deal has been blocked in Congress. The Bureau of Prisons would have to shuffle money to come up with $165 million for the prison near Thomson, which requires approval from a congressional subcommittee. But Chairman Frank Wolf of Virginia is opposed, claiming it;s an improper earmark by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin. Budget experts question that contention, noting the deal is supported by the prisons bureau, not something being forced on it. Wolf also says he doesn't trust the Obama administration when it says it won't transfer terrorism suspects to the prison. Durbin claims Wolf is letting his frustration with Attorney General Eric Holder block a project that would create jobs in northwestern Illinois.
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