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Area Lawmakers Spar Over Location Of New FBI Headquarters

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The J. Edgar Hoover building in downtown Washington D.C., , home to the FBI for almost 40 years, is widely considered outdated.
Chirag Shah: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chirag_dshah/89537676/
The J. Edgar Hoover building in downtown Washington D.C., , home to the FBI for almost 40 years, is widely considered outdated.

Federal lawmakers in the Washington region are battling each other in an effort to relocate FBI headquarters, currently housed in the District.

The FBI building is outdated, and lawmakers expect the agency will need a new permanent residence soon. That's sparked a tiff among the region' s lawmakers.

Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-Md.) says her district has plenty of Metro access and is underdeveloped, leaving plenty of options for a massive new FBI campus. She says it's also a matter of fairness.

"Of the area jurisdictions, Prince George's County actually enjoys the least amount of federal assets," Edwards says.

Virginia's congressional delegation doesn't see it quite the same way. Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) says Virginia is a natural fit.

"Quantico for the FBI is already there, in terms of their training academy," Connolly says. "So there's a logical FBI connection in Virginia, as well as the broader federal argument that we're sort of a federal friendly place."

Connolly acknowledges Virginia's traffic congestion problems, but says it's being addressed.

"We're engaged as we speak in the largest transit extension in the United States — the Silver Line that will go out to Dulles Airport," Connolly says. "And Phase I of that all the way out to Reston will be up and running this time next year. We just opened the hot lanes on the Beltway — they don't exist in Maryland.

Back in the District, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton argues it would be foolish to move the nation's top investigators away from the power players at the Capitol and the White House.

Edwards counters, all's fair in love and war, and there's no harm in competition.

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