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Bridenstine to bring Tennessee congresswoman on Fort Sill tour

by Chris Casteel Published: July 10, 2014

U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Tulsa, plans to bring a colleague along Saturday for his tour of the Fort Sill facility housing unaccompanied minors who recently crossed the southern U.S. border.

Bridenstine, who has been in a week-long struggle with the Department of Health and Human Services over a visit to the facility, said U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., will join him  on the tour. Both will also bring staff members, the congressman’s office said Thursday.

Neither of the lawmakers will agree  to abide by the tour’s restrictions _ no recording devices, no questions or interaction with staff and children, according to Bridenstine’s office.

The congressman is also demanding that the administration have a range of experts available to answer questions, along with documentation on each child at the facility, called Temporary Shelter Kilo.

The shelter has more than 1,000 minors, mostly from Central American countries; it can hold up to 1,200.

HHS officials were scheduled to conduct a media tour on Thursday. Those participating were also not allowed to use recording devices, ask questions or interact with the children and staff.


by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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