CONCORD, N.H.—New Hampshire's new but still vacant federal prison in Berlin is inching closer to opening.
The House on Thursday passed a funding bill that puts a priority on opening three new prisons nationwide that still await funds to operate. The bill includes $6.5 billion for the Bureau of Prisons.
New Hampshire's representatives were divided, with Charlie Bass voting in favor and Frank Guinta against. Both are Republicans.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has predicted it will pass in the Senate and be sent to President Obama for his signature.
The 1,280-bed, medium-security federal prison was completed in 2010, at a total cost of $276 million. It has been vacant since its completion last year because of budget cuts. The prison is expected to employ as many as 300 workers when it opens.