“A majority of the American people and a bipartisan majority in Congress oppose bringing the terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay into the United States, yet the White House continues to take steps to move forward with its dangerous plan,” John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerThe two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery One year later, neither party can get past last year's election White House strikes back at Bushes over legacy MORE said in a statement Tuesday. “The unilateral decision to purchase the Thomson Prison — even though Congress has repeatedly opposed the Obama administration’s effort to use taxpayer funds to do so — underscores the administration’s desire to move forward and bring these detainees to U.S. soil.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell expects Paul to return to Senate next week Former Hill staff calls for mandatory harassment training Gaming the odds of any GOP tax bill getting signed into law MORE (R-Ky.) agreed with Boehner and added that suspected terrorists held at Guantanamo shouldn’t get the same legal rights as Americans.

“Terrorists don’t deserve the same legal rights as the Americans they’re targeting,” McConnell said in a statement Tuesday. “We should be focused on stopping terrorists, not defending them. And Americans would rather their tax dollars be spent preventing attacks from terrorists, than spent bringing them into their cities and towns as the Obama administration has repeatedly tried to achieve.”

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDems mull big changes after Brazile bombshell After Texas shooting, lawmakers question whether military has systemic reporting problem Bipartisan group of lawmakers aim to reform US sugar program MORE (D-Ill.) applauded the purchase, saying it would bring more than a thousand jobs to his state. The Department of Justice, on behalf of the federal Bureau of Prisons, filed documents in the United States District Court Tuesday for the Northern District of Illinois in Rockford to buy Thomson Correctional Center for $165 million.

“Congress has repeatedly rejected the Obama administration’s effort to use taxpayer funds to purchase this prison,” McConnell said. “It is clear that the funding law that Sen. Durbin voted for and President Obama signed does not suddenly authorize what Congress has repeatedly denied. This election-eve purchase comes at the expense of delaying approved projects that are not in the President’s home state.  And there is overwhelming, bipartisan opposition to the President’s plan to transfer terrorists from the secure detention facility at Guantanamo Bay into the United States.”

Thomson Prison was built in 2001 as a state-of-the-art, maximum-security prison to house the most severe criminal offenders but has mostly sat vacant.

Boehner said Obama owes the American people an explanation for going against their will.

“House Republicans have kept our Pledge to America to keep the terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay out the United States, and we will continue to keep our pledge,” Boehner said. “President Obama owes the American people an explanation about how importing these dangerous terrorists and giving them the same rights as U.S. citizens will make us any safer. Republicans will continue to oppose this dangerous plan.”