“The FBI currently has serious and serious issues that need to be resolved. … Any discussion of a new headquarters should be deferred to another time and place,” said Rep. Michael Cloud (R-Texas), member of the appropriations committee, calling himself “very” interested in using government funding bills to block a new headquarters.
One of those GOP possessors, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, confirmed “there is interest” among Republicans on the appropriations committee to block the new FBI site. The lawmaker added that the idea of recouping previously allocated funds is a more difficult lift, but also “entered the conversation”.
“I think it’s a bit more difficult to recoup the money that was awarded in previous years,” the lawmaker added. Another GOP official confirmed there had been “discussions” about funding for FBI headquarters and potential targeting of funds already allocated, but warned it was “premature.”
Even if Republicans aren’t able to officially rescind the money previously approved for the FBI project, supporters of blocking the new building believe they could still do so because the headquarters needs billions of dollars in funding. additional.
The administration requested $233 million as part of its fiscal year 2024 budget for the project, noting it would total $3.5 billion over 15 years. The Justice Department argued that the current building “can no longer support the FBI’s long-term mission.”
The full House Appropriations Committee has yet to begin debating and voting on its bills, where some of the FBI debate could take place. And the two subcommittees with jurisdiction over the matter also had no votes on their respective exhibits.
“I always kind of approached it because, well, people with a lot more information and a lot more knowledge about the process than me made the decision a long time ago that there was going to be a relocation of the FBI,” said Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.), while declining “to enter into the debate at this time about the effort to replace FBI headquarters.”
Womack — who oversees one of two appropriations committees with jurisdiction over the matter — added that whether the “collective appropriations process” will approve funds for a new FBI headquarters is a “matter to be determined.” But he added that the idea of recouping previous funding is likely “over the top”, given the political reality of a divided government.
A spokesman for Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), who oversees the other relevant House subcommittee, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Preventing the FBI from building a new headquarters is also guaranteed to elicit pushback from the Maryland and Virginia delegations, which have engaged in public campaign efforts and silent lobbying to try to get their respective states selected.
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), another appropriator, argued that an FBI hostage attempt would put “our national security at risk.”
“This blatant hypocrisy is yet another example of Congressional Republicans choosing to prioritize their own political agenda over the safety of all American people. Our federal law enforcement officers deserve the resources they need to do their jobs and keep our communities safe — no matter who controls Congress,” Hoyer added.