Senate Republicans include $ 1.75 billion for new FBI headquarters in coronavirus relief bill

Bisnow / Jon Banister

The current FBI HQ, the J. Edgar Hoover building on Pennsylvania Avenue.

On Monday, within the pages of the Senate Republican’s billion-dollar coronavirus relief plan proposal, was a provision that would grant the FBI $ 1.75 billion to demolish the J. Edgar Hoover building on Pennsylvania. Avenue and build a new headquarters in its place.

The funding provision was a White House request, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican representing Kentucky, said on Monday.

When asked why the funding was placed in a package to help the country fight the coronavirus pandemic, The Washington Post reports that the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Republican Senator from Alabama, Richard Shelby, replied, “Good question.”

The Hoover Building has been in disrepair for years, and hundreds of millions have been spent seeking to replace it as the FBI headquarters with a facility in suburban Maryland or Virginia. But soon after President Donald Trump took office, the the federal government backtracked on this work and pushed to keep the FBI on Pennsylvania Avenue, three blocks from the Trump Hotel in the Old Post Office building.

Executives of the General Services Administration, which controls federal government property and leases the old post office to The Trump Organization, declined to say during a congressional hearing in 2019 if Trump ordered them to overturn the FBI decision, which would have allowed the consolidation of more than 10,000 employees in a secure location in Greenbelt or Landover, Maryland, or Springfield, Virginia.

Local leaders have called for the Hoover Building’s prominent location on Pennsylvania Avenue and Ninth Street NW to be redeveloped into a mixed-use, revenue-generating project, rather than a federal building that does not pay local taxes. Trump, explaining why he canceled the planned move, said it would put the FBI “too far,” the Post reported.

The funding was included in the Senate Republicans’ initial coronavirus relief proposal, which reduced improved unemployment benefits from $ 600 per week to $ 200, did not include the bailout the restaurant industry is asking for and included hundreds of billions in military spending.

Contact Ethan Rothstein at [email protected]

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