In typical Illinois style, U.S. Senate Dick Durbin has been fingered by CQ Weekly’a Shawn Zelle as the one who put a hold on the unanimous consent agreement passage of re-authorization of the US Commission on Religious Freedom.
This is the independent agency that is credited with pushing the Bush administration to understand the north–south conflict in Sudan as primarily a religious one, according to Nina Shea, the director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute and one of the US Commission on Religious Freedom.
What’s Durbin price for allowing the bill to be passed by unanimous consent?
He wants the Federal government to buy the over ten-year old, barely used maximum security prison in Thomson, Illinois.
That’s where President Barack Obama wanted to transfer terrorists being held at Guantanamo.
The pressure point for the proposed blackmail (my word, you can call it “log rolling,” if you wish) Zeller says,
“…could be that Rep. Frank R. Wolf, the Virginia Republican who sponsored the legislation creating the commission in 1998, chairs the Appropriations subcommittee that funds federal prisons.”
“If true, it is appalling that Senator Durbin would tie the continuation of USCIRF to any other issue,” IRD’s Faith McDonnell wrote.