The FBI's need for a new location is sparking a regional battle in Congress and pitting powerful lawmakers against one another.
Many officials in the region are rolling out the red carpet for the FBI as it searches for new digs. The fight — which stretches across the border between Maryland and Virginia — is making one thing clear: there are a lot of power players in Congress from the two states.
Funding for the new headquarters will have to pass through Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), who chairs the House Appropriations Committee's justice subcommittee and has already made up his mind on where the new office should be.
"I would hope that as this goes forward that there would be an objective group of people to look at it on the merits," Wolf says. "And on the merits I think it would clearly go to Virginia."
There are heavy hitters on the other side of the Potomac too. Maryland's delegation includes Rep. Steny Hoyer, the number two House Democrat. But its biggest slugger is Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D), the new chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Eleven-term Virginia Rep. Jim Moran (D) knows the power Mikulski now wields.
"We're trusting that Senator Mikulski is going to look at this objectively as will the General Services Administration," Moran says. "And reach a conclusion that is clearly in the best interest of all of America, taxpayers, and of the FBI's employees."
Both Maryland and Virginia officials are going to have to make their case through D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton though. She's the top Democrat on the House subcommittee on public buildings.