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Holdup on Thomson political posturing

September 5, 2012

U.S. Reps. Don Manzullo, R-Ill., and Bobby Schilling, R-Ill., and State Rep. Jim Sacia, R-89, wring their hands in despair over the one lone Congressman committee chairman, U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., and his refusal to release the funds so the federal government can buy the Thomson prison. Compared to the billions of dollars spent every day by the military, the $145 million price tag is a drop in the bucket.

The holdup is all shameless political posturing in an election year.

If so many in Congress are in favor of opening Thomson and relieving overcrowding in the prisons, all Reps. Manzullo or Schilling have to do is to talk to Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio. If Boehner can’t “persuade” Wolf to release the funds, a petition to discharge can be introduced. If a majority (218 representatives) sign on, the measure goes to the floor for a vote of the full house, in my understanding (see Wikipedia).

Rep. Wolf’s refusal is more about opposing President Barack Obama than allowing the money to be released. His excuse that a terrorism suspect “might” be housed in Thomson is “lame.” Does he imply that a “suspect” is worse than a convicted serial murderer — someone like the recent Aurora, Colo., wacko? Some of the “suspects” housed at Gitmo were likely innocents turned in for the reward money. Are these worse than a serial rapist?

One lone congressman cannot hold up this issue. We should insist that Manzullo or Schilling start the discharge petition process. I’ve seen nothing to indicate they’ve even tried.

Ray Ruthenberg
Stockton, Ill.

From the Sept. 5-11, 2012, issue

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