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Biden's budget calls for new FBI HQ to be built in Maryland or Virginia, not DC

Local leaders in Maryland and Virginia are applauding a decision to move the FBI headquarters to the suburbs. The Trump administration had moved to keep it in D.C.

WASHINGTON — The new proposed budget from President Joe Biden, called for the FBI headquarters to be moved out of D.C., and into a nearby suburb. The home of this HQ has been the subject of a major debate over the last decade. 

The current FBI headquarters, located at the J. Edgar Hoover building on Pennsylvania Ave. NW, has been described as old and deteriorating by lawmakers and some FBI leaders.

During the Obama Administration, the General Services Administration was targeting three possible locations as suitable sites for the future HQ: 

  • Former Landover Mall, Prince George's County
  • Greenbelt Metro Station, Prince George's County
  • GSA Franconia Warehouse Complex in Springfield, Fairfax County

In 2017, plans were abruptly changed when the Trump Administration announced that they were scrapping the idea. The administration was pitching a plan to rebuild the HQ at the current site instead. 

In the latest budget proposal, the Biden administration recognized "the critical need for a new FBI headquarters," adding that the current building "can no longer support the long-term (sic) mission of the FBI." 

In the latest budget proposal, Biden called for a return to the suburb plan. 

"During the next year, FBI and GSA will work to identify a location to construct a Federally owned, modern and secure facility for at least 7,500 personnel in the suburbs," the budget proposal read. 

The budget called for the FBI and GSA to "finalize an updated program of requirements for a secure suburban campus," within the next year. 

The announcement restarts the debate between usual allies, as Democratic lawmakers from Maryland and Virginia, are already pitching their states as the right choice. 

"We would love this," said Sen. Tim Kaine, from Virginia. 

That's a sentiment shared by his colleagues from across the Potomac. 

"We're bullish on the Maryland sites," said Sen. Chris Van Hollen, from Maryland. 

Lawmakers from both Maryland and Virginia have already been vocal about the advantages to their respective states. Ultimately the decision will be up to the GSA and the FBI.  

"I think FBI employees have a heavy Virginia presence," said Kaine. "And as you know the FBI has significant activity on the Quantico Marine Base." 

In an interview with WUSA9 Tuesday morning, Van Hollen pitched both Prince George's locations, as a major improvement to the Hoover building.

"You need that campus-like setting," he said. "You also need a greater transportation network. And the two sites in Prince George's County have that." 

The budget called for the GSA to make a decision on the location within the next year, although Van Hollen thinks a choice could be made within 180 days since the three sites have already been vetted. 

The budget proposal also called for GSA and FBI to locate a federally-owned property in the District, that can hold 750 to 1,000 FBI employees so that there is some presence in the Nation's Capital. 

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