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Virginia congressional delegation makes pitch for FBI headquarters

Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine joined Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin in a show of bipartisan support

The FBI headquarters building in Washington in November.
The FBI headquarters building in Washington in November. (Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Members of Virginia’s congressional delegation gathered Wednesday to drive home their pitch for relocating the FBI headquarters to their state, stressing the area’s schools, diversity and transportation infrastructure.

The lawmakers outlined their arguments at a news conference in Springfield, Va., at one of the proposed locations for the agency headquarters, the latest in a high-profile competition over where the FBI will move.

The FBI is currently headquartered on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., but the General Services Administration has been going through the process of finding a new location and narrowed it down to either in Maryland or Virginia.

The competition to secure the headquarters caused a delay in December on a sprawling, $1.7 trillion fiscal 2023 omnibus spending measure, which set aside $375 million for the FBI relocation project.

Then-House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., was pushing to adjust criteria that the General Services Administration released in September that would favor a Virginia site for the headquarters over two in Maryland.

On Wednesday, Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine joined Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin in a show of bipartisanship behind Virginia’s pitch.

Democratic Reps. Gerald E. Connolly, Donald S. Beyer Jr. and Abigail Spanberger were also in attendance at the event.

Warner, who is chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Virginia is a “slam dunk winner” in the competition over the FBI headquarters.

“We are here from Loudoun County. We are here from Prince William County. We are here from my hometown, the city of Alexandria. We are here from Arlington County. And we are here from all the surrounding environments to make this case,” Warner said.

Attracting talent will be important to the FBI going into the future, Kaine said. Kaine pointed to the higher education institutions in the area, saying those places can train people but also to send mid-career agents back for additional training. Those higher education institutions, he said, will be able to come up with programs to complement what the FBI does.

“So there’s no question that the FBI can tap into the really important Virginia education system,” Kaine said.

Also Wednesday morning, Hoyer pointed out on Twitter that civil rights leaders say that Maryland should get the FBI headquarters.

“Selecting Greenbelt or Landover as the new home to the FBI would be a major commitment to reducing disparities in communities of color,” Hoyer tweeted.

Hoyer’s account posted a November letter signed by Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network, and Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, among others. The letter urged the selection of a Maryland location.

“Doing so would represent an important step toward addressing the historic failure to invest equitably in Prince George’s County,” the letter states. “It is similarly an important step toward making real the Administration’s commitment to racial equity.”

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