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The anticipated multibillion-dollar project to relocate the FBI’s headquarters will not happen in the foreseeable future, if at all.
The General Services Administration and the FBI announced Tuesday the cancellation of the selection and procurement process to relocate the headquarters, opting to remain at the 43-year-old J. Edgar Hoover Building in northwest D.C. until further notice.
The joint statement on the GSA website states the $523 million Congress appropriated this year doesn’t fully fund the rest of the $1.4 billion needed from the federal government.
“The cancellation of the project does not lessen the need for a new FBI headquarters,” the statement read. “GSA and FBI will continue to work together to address the space requirements of the FBI.”
Officials in Maryland, one of the areas under consideration for the relocation, blasted President Donald Trump’s administration for leading the effort to cancel the project.
After the GSA released the statement, members of the Maryland Congressional delegation and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III held a press briefing on Capitol Hill to express their displeasure with the decision.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) called Trump’s decision “an abuse of power.”
“He is acting [like] he is the legislature as well as chief executive and he is not,” Cardin said.
He said the federal government not only allocated $523 million in this year’s fiscal budget, but another $390 million in the 2016 budget. The state committed $220 million for each of the two possible sites in Prince George’s, he said.
Baker said at least $1 million came from the county.
“We have taken definitive action,” Cardin said. “The reasons given for cancelation just aren’t true. There’s adequate revenue to clear the way to move forward.
A decision on whether Prince George’s or Springfield, Virginia, would house all 11,000 FBI employees at a 2.1 million-square-foot building was set for this spring, but the GSA delayed it.
Currently, displaced FBI employees are dispersed in offices throughout the D.C. region.
Baker said after the briefing that the connection to Trump and the FBI investigating his ties to Russia may have been a factor in nixing the project.
“I think you can make that connection. This is coming from the Trump administration,” he said. “For the Trump administration to arbitrarily make the decision and pull the plug on a building that is needed … doesn’t make sense. This is one project I can remember since I’ve been involved in politics in Maryland where everyone agreed we are all in on this one. We’re going to keep pushing.”