Senate Gives Government Two Months To Figure Out How To Pay For New FBI Headquarters

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Thomas Phippen Associate Editor
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A Senate committee has extended the deadline for the government to present a plan for the new FBI headquarters by two months, allowing the administration to develop plans to find a new building for the agency.

The General Services Administration was supposed to deliver a plan to Congress Thursday on how it would fund the new building and go about searching for it, but the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works allowed the agency an additional sixty days.

“The deadline for this report is November 30, but the Committee, at your request, is willing to consider extending the deadline by 60 days to ensure that you have sufficient time to consider different financing options for the project,” Sen. John Barrasso, chairman of the of Wyoming and Democrat Tom Carper of Delaware wrote in a letter to the Government Services Administration.

After a 12-year search for building a building to replace the J. Edgar Hoover building, officials at the GSA thought they had found a building that would accommodate the FBI’s needs through a building swap, but the GSA canceled the deal in July. One reason the project fell through was due to the contracting process the GSA used. The administration had been searching for an “exchange partner” who would take over the Hoover building in return for developing a new site for the FBI mitigate the costs in the estimated $2.5 billion project.

Former President Barack Obama’s 2016 budget included $1.4 billion for this project, but that bill did not become law. Congress instead gave the project $523 million, which “leaves an $882 million funding gap,” the GSA said.

“The cancellation of the project does not lessen the need for a new FBI headquarters,” a spokeswoman for the GSA told The Daily Caller News Foundation at the time.

The “full funding is crucial for the government to make a contract award” for the project, the spokeswoman said, and congressional budget appropriators did not fully fund GSA’s plan for the new headquarters.

GSA’s report, which is now due January 29, 2018, is supposed to cover, among other things, the FBI’s needs for the new building, “a description and explanation of each acquisition strategy” that the GSA could and the funding needed to implement each strategy. It’s unclear whether the search for the new headquarters will start from the ground up, or if the agency will go forward with looking in the three previously identified locations of Greenbelt and Landover, Md., and Springfield, Va.

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