By Steve Neavling
House Republicans are considering a move that would prevent a new FBI headquarters from being built by blocking the project’s funding as GOP lawmakers continue to look for ways to punish the bureau.
Though still in the early stages, three Republicans who are working on the spending bills told Politico that blocking funding for the headquarters has come up in conversations.
“The FBI right now has some serious, serious issues that need to be addressed. … The whole discussion about a new headquarters should be put off to another time and place,” Rep. Michael Cloud, R-Texas, said.
Cloud said he’s “very much” interested in blocking a new headquarters.
Another Republican lawmaker characterized the issue as “premature” and said there has “been some conversation” about blocking funding.
The full House Appropriations Committee has not yet begun debating the spending bills.
As part of the fiscal 2024 budget, President Biden’s administration has requested $233 million for the project. The total cost over 15 years is projected at $3.5 billion.
Even if House Republicans get enough support to block the funding, it’s unlikely they could convince the Senate or White House to get on board.
The House delegations in Maryland and Virginia, the two possible locations of a new headquarters, would also likely resist funding cuts.
Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said blocking funding would put “our national security at risk.”
“This blatant hypocrisy is yet another example of congressional Republicans’ choice to prioritize their own political agenda over the security of all American people,” Hoyer said. “Our federal law enforcement agents deserve the resources they need to do their jobs and keep our communities safe — regardless of who controls Congress.”