As competition heats up among local jurisdictions to be the next home for the FBI headquarters, Maryland's federal lawmakers are putting their weight behind a single proposal to put the new building at a site in Prince George's County. The FBI expressed interest in moving from its current location on Pennsylvania Avenue some time ago and, since then, localities in Maryland, Virginia and the District have all been vying to get the project. David Hawkings, political columnist at Hawkings Here for Roll Call, talks about the issue.
On Maryland senators writing a letter in support of Prince George's County's proposal for the new FBI headquarters: "It's a good strategy. There is some bipartisanship in the delegation -- there's one Republican, Andy Harris, he is on the House Appropriations Committee now, which will have some say in funding whatever decision is made. So the fact that everyone in the state is consolidated around this one location in the Greenbelt area is a big deal because the Virginia delegation is split."
On how the Prince George's County location fit with some of the Senate's requirements for the new FBI headquarters: "The real main one is that it is close to the Beltway and close to Metro. The idea that they have here is to be very near the Greenbelt Metro station, and it fits the requirements to a tee."
On the next step for the new FBI headquarters: "I don't think there's a firm deadline, but I do think there's an eagerness to get going. They have definitely made the decision to move out of the District. There are developers interested in that big, hulking building. So my expectation is that there will be a decision sometime this summer."
On the Senate's move to update the STOCK Act: "The senate very quietly and without too much disclosure of its own passed legislation that would rewrite the STOCK Act in an important way. The issue here is that the law, enacted a year ago, would not only require disclosure of financial transactions by senior and executive branch people, but that those disclosures be posted online. Executive officials went to court and said this would be a national security risk, and it would expose us to blackmail. An independent study commissioned concluded they were right. And so last night, without any debate, the Senate decided to take those online posting requirements out of the law."
Listen to the full analysis here.