The Obama administration still wants to buy a prison in northwestern Illinois even if it's not used to hold Guantanamo Bay detainees.
A Thursday letter from the Justice Department to Republican Congressman Don Manzullo says the department would seek to purchase the facility in Thomson even if detainees weren't being considered for transfer.
But the letter also gives no indication the administration is backing away from its plan to bring detainees to Illinois.
Gov. Pat Quinn already has agreed to sell the prison to the Obama administration. But Congress has to both approve the money and change current law barring detainees from coming into the country for anything other than trial.
Obama promised during the 2008 campaign to close the Guantanamo detention facility in Cuba.