After working on plans for years to move the FBI from its downtown D.C. headquarters, the federal government decided Monday to keep the law enforcement agency and its 11,000 employees in the District.
Officials with the FBI and General Services Administration, which owns the building named for late FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, submitted a report Monday on a new project to build a new headquarters at the same location. The report will be reviewed by the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee.
“The work of the FBI requires a modern and secure headquarters with technology and equipment to support the men and women of the FBI who are dedicated to keeping our country safe,” a GSA statement read. “The report issued by GSA and FBI today provides for the new headquarters the FBI needs to accomplish its important work.”
The two federal agencies canceled the selection and procurement process in July when Congress couldn’t provide more money toward the project. Three sites were considered in Springfield, Virginia, as were two locations in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
More than $1 billion for the project was already allocated last year, but another $2.2 billion will be requested this year, bring the total just south of earlier estimates of $3.5 billion.
Monday’s decision comes on the same day President Donald Trump released a $4.4 trillion budget that reduces domestic spending, but provides major increases for defense. The administration recommended a $148 million increase for the FBI “to continue to carry out its important dual missions of enforcing the nation’s laws and protecting national security.”
The decision to keep the FBI in the District didn’t please Maryland officials, particularly because agency employees are currently scattered at various offices throughout the D.C. region.
“Our national security requires that we move forward with building a secure, fully consolidated FBI headquarters,” said Democratic Rep. Anthony Brown. “The Trump White House is putting America’s national security at risk and is continuing its thinly-veiled assault on the FBI. This decision falls short of meeting the needs of the nation’s premier intelligence and law enforcement organization.”
Prince George’s had secured at least $1 million toward the project to lure the headquarters to either Landover or Greenbelt.
County Executive Rushern L. Baker III called the decision “frustrating” and “clearly political.”
“Not only have resources and money been wasted, but more importantly, we are no closer to providing the American people the increased security and safety they desperately need from a consolidated and high security campus,” he said in a statement. “It is an affront to this county that this decision would be made in such an arbitrary and irresponsible manner.”