The FBI headquarters will stay in Washington after all

  • The federal government has decided that the FBI's headquarters should stay in Washington after all.
  • The decision comes after an expensive, years-long search for a new site.
  • "We must get to the bottom of why the Trump Administration reached this decision," says Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland.
A sign indicates an entrance for employees only at the Federal Bureau of Investigation Edgar J. Hoover Building May 9, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Getty Images
A sign indicates an entrance for employees only at the Federal Bureau of Investigation Edgar J. Hoover Building May 9, 2017 in Washington, DC.

The federal government has decided that the FBI's headquarters should stay in Washington after all.

The General Services Administration had worked with the FBI through the Bush and Obama administrations to push for funding to move the FBI out of its current site on Pennsylvania Avenue and into a new building in the Washington suburbs.

But a new 23-page report obtained by The Washington Post found the GSA and the FBI recommending that the bureau's headquarters will remain on Pennsylvania Avenue, with the goal to build a new headquarters in place of the aging J. Edgar Hoover Building. The decision comes after an expensive, years-long search for a new site.

The GSA confirmed the plan to demolish the old building and build a new facility at the current location.

"Crumbling facades, aging infrastructure, physical, structural and security limitations" all hinder the FBI's abilities, a GSA spokesperson confirmed to CNBC. "The work of the FBI requires a modern and secure headquarters with technology and equipment to support the men and women of the FBI who are dedicated to keeping our country safe."

While most of the roughly 11,000 staff will remain at the Washington location, about 2,300 headquarters staff would be moved around the country to locations in Idaho, West Virginia and Alabama, the Post reported.

The new development follows a July announcement that the GSA and the FBI had decided to cancel the funding search for a new headquarters. The GSA cited a funding gap of $882 million between the $1.4 billion requested in the 2017 budget versus the $523 million received.

The congressional delegation from Maryland, including Minority Whip Steny Hoyer came out strongly against the shift in July. A statement from Hoyer's office at the time noted that two of the three finalist areas for the new headquarters were in Prince George's County, which is part of his district.

Hoyer was similarly critical on Monday, saying, "This sudden and unexpected decision by the Trump Administration raises serious questions about what or who could have motivated such a decision."

"We must get to the bottom of why the Trump Administration reached this decision," he said.

The Department of Justice said Monday it would get nearly $2.2 billion for a new FBI headquarters in 2018 as part of the White House's newly unveiled infrastructure plan. In addition to the funds already set aside, the infrastructure money would provide a total $3.5 billion for an update to the FBI building at the current location.

Read The Washington Post's full report here.