WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, released the following statement on an extraneous provision in the Republican COVID-19 relief package on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
“For the last three years, due to the intransigence of the Trump administration, Congress has explicitly refused to provide funding for a new FBI headquarters that does not fulfill the important consolidation and security needs of the agency. Security and modernization should be paramount. After nearly a decade of a nonpartisan search for a fully consolidated, 21st century, technologically advanced, secure campus headquarters for the FBI, the president decided to trash the project. Rather than answer questions from Congress and explain its abrupt reversal and waste of taxpayer dollars, the Trump administration did not ask for funding for a new FBI headquarters in FY2019 or FY2020, and even proposed rescinding $150 million in funding for the project in FY2021. Now, while Congress waits on a report from the DOJ inspector general on the president’s involvement in the cancellation, he wants to spend $1.75 billion on an FBI building in Washington DC. We all agree that the FBI needs a new headquarters, but to suddenly slip this ill-suited and unworkable downtown proposal as part of a COVID-19 relief package is the height of absurdity.”