Location of New FBI Headquarters Becomes Flashpoint in Spending Bill

FBI headquarters, via FBI

By Steve Neavling

A fight over the location of a new FBI headquarters led to a last-minute deal as lawmakers raced to finish up the $1.7 trillion federal spending package. 

The omnibus legislation was tied up as lawmakers from Virginia and Maryland squared off over which state would get the new headquarters. 

The General Services Administration has named three potential sites, two in Maryland and one in Northern Virginia. 

After lawmakers held up the bill by arguing over the potential site locations, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., negotiated a deal that called for the GSA administrator picking the location, The New York Times reports.

But first, the administrator must meet with representatives from both states and choose selection criteria within 90 days of the measure passing. 

The FBI has been searching for a new headquarters for years, but funding problems and the Trump administration delayed the project. Trump had called for the headquarters, which is a stone’s throw from his Washington D.C. hotel, to be built downtown, rather than in the suburbs. 

The current headquarters is cramped and outdated, the FBI says. 

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