As the fiscal year 2024 approaches, the debate over government spending has taken center stage with Representative Steve Womack’s (R-AR) introduction of H.R.4664.
This bill provides FY2024 appropriations for several federal departments and agencies, including:
- the Department of the Treasury,
- the Executive Office of the President,
- the judiciary,
- the District of Columbia, and
- several independent agencies.
The independent agencies funded in the bill include:
- the Administrative Conference of the United States,
- the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,
- the Consumer Product Safety Commission,
- the Election Assistance Commission,
- the Federal Communications Commission,
- the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation,
- the Federal Election Commission,
- the Federal Labor Relations Authority,
- the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council,
- the Federal Trade Commission,
- the General Services Administration,
- the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation,
- the Merit Systems Protection Board,
- the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation,
- the National Archives and Records Administration,
- the National Credit Union Administration,
- the Office of Government Ethics,
- the Office of Personnel Management,
- the Office of Special Counsel,
- the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board,
- the Public Buildings Reform Board,
- the Securities and Exchange Commission,
- the Selective Service System,
- the Small Business Administration,
- the U.S. Postal Service, and
- the U.S. Tax Court.
An amendment was proposed by Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL), effectively seeking to bar the utilization of any funds for acquiring property intended for the new FBI headquarters.
On Wednesday, Gaetz launched a vehement attack against the House, the FBI, and Democrats while on the House floor, criticizing their appeal for funding aimed at developing an expansive new facility in Washington DC.
“They want to spend more than $300 million on that complex. Though the FBI has an employee base that’s about 2.3% of the United States military. Mr. Speaker, they’re literally asking for something that is larger than the Pentagon for the FBI,” said Gaetz.
“And so my amendment would disallow any planning, spending, distribution of funds for that purpose. I don’t believe that the FBI deserves a massive new headquarters or Washington Field office,” he added.
He argued against the investment of more than $300 million into a complex that is undeserved given the FBI’s abuse of power and violation of civil liberties against conservatives.
“They’ve worked hard to censor factual information harmful to their preferred political candidates, notably the Hunter Biden laptop story that the FBI, based in the DC metro area, were involved in cajoling censorship of. Building a new headquarters would condone, reinforce, and enable the Washington Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ nefarious behavior. We shouldn’t do it, and we should adopt this amendment to ensure that’s the case.”
On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Womack rises not so much in defense of the FBI’s request but in opposition to what he views as precipitate action against it. He acknowledges the FBI headquarters’ dilapidation yet calls for thorough hearings and expert testimony before reaching a decision on its funding.
Womack said, “We’re not always going to hate the FBI, but what I do know is that when I toured the FBI headquarters, I saw it in a state of disrepair that is going to need the attention of the owners of that property, and that’s us. The fact is, the building is crumbling and there’s going to be a need to do something.”
Gaetz, however, remained undeterred, accentuating that his primary concern revolved around the erosion of civil liberties under the FBI’s aegis. He expressed disappointment in siding with the bureau under the current circumstances and suggested that the FBI resolve its internal issues before any funding for a new, expansive facility is considered.
“It is not my grave concern that the FBI’s building is crumbling. It is my grave concern that the civil liberties of Americans are crumbling. And I wish we were more worried about that and less worried about whether or not we got new carpet and wallpaper at the FBI building,” Gaetz refuted.
“My colleague from Arkansas says that the FBI headquarters is in a state of disrepair. Mr. Speaker, it is the FBI itself that is in a state of disrepair. And so while my colleague from Arkansas may be right that we may not always hate the FBI, how about while we are most concerned about the things they are doing, we not go build them a new 300 million dollar building?”
“The notion that we would stand here and defend them, frankly, is deeply disappointing. And I think those folks deserve to sit in the rat-infested J. Edgar Hoover Building until they get their acts straight with America’s civil liberties,” Gaetz concluded.
As The Gateway Pundit previously reported, despite the outspoken opposition, the bill garnered ample support, notably from the Democrat party, along with 70 Republicans voting in favor of constructing the new FBI headquarters.
Here is the list of Republicans who voted with Democrats:
- Don Bacon from Nebraska
- Andy Barr from Kentucky
- Cliff Bentz from Oregon
- Stephanie Bice from Oklahoma
- Mike Bost from Illinois
- Vern Buchanan from Florida
- Ken Buck from Colorado
- Ken Calvert from California
- Mike Carey from Ohio
- John Carter from Texas
- Lori Chavez-DeRemer from Oregon
- Tom Cole from Oklahoma
- Michael D’Esposito from New York
- Mario Diaz-Balart from Florida
- Martha Duarte from California
- Gregory F. Murphy from North Carolina
- Jake Ellzey from Texas
- Randy Feenstra from Iowa
- Drew Ferguson from Georgia
- Brian Fitzpatrick from Pennsylvania
- Dianne Flood from Nebraska
- Andrew Garbarino from New York
- Tony Gonzales from Texas
- Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon from Puerto Rico
- Kay Granger from Texas
- Sam Graves from Missouri
- Brett Guthrie from Kentucky
- Ashley Hinson from Iowa
- David Joyce from Ohio
- Thomas Kean Jr. from New Jersey
- Mike Kelly from Pennsylvania
- Kevin Kiley from California
- Young Kim from California
- David Kustoff from Tennessee
- Darin LaHood from Illinois
- Nick LaLota from New York
- Doug Lamborn from Colorado
- John Lawler from New York
- Nancy Lee from Florida
- Julia Letlow from Louisiana
- Frank Lucas from Oklahoma
- Blaine Luetkemeyer from Missouri
- Nicole Malliotakis from New York
- Deborah McCornick from Georgia
- Patrick T. McHenry from North Carolina
- Daniel Meuser from Pennsylvania
- Carol Miller from Ohio
- Blake Moore from Utah
- Frank Moylan from Guam
- Gregory F. Murphy from North Carolina
- Dan Newhouse from Washington
- Zach Nunn from Iowa
- Jay Obernolte from California
- Mike Rogers from Alabama
- Harold Rogers from Kentucky
- Maria Elvira Salazar from Florida
- Austin Scott from Georgia
- Pete Sessions from Texas
- Mike Simpson from Idaho
- Jason Smith from Missouri
- Christopher H. Smith from New Jersey
- Lloyd Smucker from Pennsylvania
- Jerry Carl from Alabama
- Glenn Thompson from Pennsylvania
- Michael R. Turner from Ohio
- David Valadao from California
- Derrick Van Orden from Wisconsin
- Ann Wagner from Missouri
- Brad Wenstrup from Ohio
- Steve Womack from Arkansas
The General Services Administration has announced that the FBI will be relocating its headquarters from its longstanding location in Washington, D.C., to a new site in Greenbelt, Maryland, according to the Washington Post.
The new headquarters will be situated on a 61-acre plot near the Greenbelt Metro station.
“GSA looks forward to building the FBI a state-of-the-art headquarters campus in Greenbelt to advance their critical mission for years to come,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan.
Washington Post reported:
Maryland leaders had pitched Greenbelt in Prince George’s, a majority-Black county just outside the nation’s capital, as a Metro-accessible site that would deliver on President Biden’s promise to invest in historically underfunded communities. Local officials in Virginia and D.C. had also lobbied hard for the project, viewed as a crown jewel for its associated jobs, prestige and economic development.
For more than a decade, local and federal leaders and real estate developers jockeyed over who would build and host a modern FBI headquarters serving thousands of employees. The high-stakes process has been delayed and punctured by politics, with governors and members of Congress aggressively trying to sway the decision-makers.
Officials reacted to news of the selection along regional lines, with Maryland politicians rejoicing and Virginia leaders decrying the process as a politicized sham.
“GSA has shamelessly caved to political pressure, putting blatant politics over the merits and amending the weighting of long-established criteria,” Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) said in a statement.
The FBI — located in the large, Brutalist-style J. Edgar Hoover Building on Pennsylvania Avenue NW since 1975 — has said it needs a new headquarters to consolidate 11,000 personnel from more than a dozen locations around the region. The federal law enforcement agency is expected to still have some office presence in the District, though it is unclear if that space will remain at the current location or move elsewhere.