Three FBI headquarters sites in suburbs still viable for agency’s move, GSA tells lawmakers

Three proposed locations for a new FBI headquarters in suburban Maryland and Virginia are still viable sites for the agency to relocate.

Three proposed locations for a new FBI headquarters in suburban Maryland and Virginia are still viable sites for the agency to relocate.

The General Services Administration told lawmakers in a phone briefing Friday that sites in Greenbelt and Landover, Maryland, and Springfield, Virginia continue to meet the agency’s mission needs.

The FBI has been working with GSA, as the federal government’s landlord, on plans for a new consolidated headquarters for nearly two decades.

House lawmakers, meanwhile, have recently proposed the first new tranche of money for a suburban FBI headquarters in the early stages of planning for fiscal 2023 appropriations.

The Biden administration, in its FY 2023 budget request, revisited plans under previous administrations to relocate the FBI headquarters to the D.C. suburbs.

Congress repeatedly stonewalled funding requests from the Trump administration to build a new FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., on the site of the current J. Edgar Hoover building.

The Maryland and Virginia congressional delegations are both vying for the new FBI headquarters to be built in their state.

Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) Ben Cardin (D-Md.), House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.) urged GSA in a statement Friday to select a final headquarters location this fall.

“Today’s GSA finding that the two Maryland FBI campus sites remain viable options to meet the needs of the Bureau is another positive step towards our goal of securing a new, consolidated headquarters,” the lawmakers wrote.

“For far too long, the FBI workforce has remained in a building that does not meet their security or operational needs. That’s why we will keep pushing for the new headquarters, and we are confident that the Maryland sites in Greenbelt and Landover are the best locations,” they added.

Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Don Beyer (D-Va.) and Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) praised GSA’s determination that the Springfield site remains “a viable and competitive location for the new FBI headquarters.”

“This is an important milestone in the site selection process, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Administration to bring an FBI headquarters that best supports the mission of the FBI, to Northern Virginia,” the lawmakers wrote.

The House Appropriations Committee, in its draft financial services and general government spending bill for FY 2023, released Wednesday, would give GSA $500 million to build a new FBI headquarters.

Congress, as part of the fiscal 2022 omnibus spending bill, requested a briefing from the FBI and GSA on the viability of relocating the headquarters to one of the three potential sites. 

The FY 2023 spending bill also includes language that authorizes the administration to use previously appropriated funds to construct a consolidated FBI headquarters at one of the suburban sites.

Hoyer and Brown joined Reps. Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.) Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), John Sarbanes (D-Md.), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and David Trone (D-Md.) saying in a statement that the funding contained in the spending bill would “ensure that the Biden Administration has the resources it needs once it selects a site to move forward with construction of the new headquarters this fall.”

“The FBI will soon have a headquarters that meets its security requirements and allows it to carry out its vital national security mission,” the lawmakers said in a statement.

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