Congress Balks At Buying Illinois Prison To Replace Guantanamo

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Rebuffed by skeptical lawmakers when it sought money to buy a prison in rural Illinois, the Obama administration still is struggling to replace the Guantanamo Bay prison, says the New York Times. Officials believe they are unlikely to close the Guantánamo Bay facility until 2011 at the earliest.

Officials estimated it could take 8 to 10 months to install new fencing, towers, cameras, and other security upgrades before any transfers take place. Such construction cannot begin until the federal government buys the prison. The federal Bureau of Prisons does not have enough money to pay Illinois for the center, which would cost about $150 million. When the White House approached the House Appropriations Committee about adding  $200 million for the project to the military spending bill for the 2010 fiscal year, Democratic leaders refused to include the politically charged measure.

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