House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is pushing for the FBI to build new headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama, instead of Washington, D.C., to take politics out of how the agency functions, the The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
According to the report, Jordan may cut the bureau’s funding unless it moves to Alabama’s midsized city, roughly 700 miles from the nation’s capital.
The FBI plans to move its headquarters from near the White House to the suburbs. Still, Republicans are upset with how the agency has targeted former President Donald Trump and are threatening to strip funding for the new facility in response, the Journal reported.
The agency said that any budget cuts imposed by Congress would be “detrimental to the support the FBI provides to the American people,” citing “numerous operational reasons” to keep the facility close to the D.C. area, including staying close to its academy in Quantico, Virginia, the report said.
The Huntsville site would likely be part of a recent agency multiyear expansion at the Redstone Arsenal, located on about 1,100 acres that currently house 860 employees and are expected to increase to approximately 3,400 by 2026, the Federal News Network reported in April 2021.
“Our overarching goals with the Huntsville expansion are to enhance operations and create synergies between FBI program areas that are all currently spread out geographically and functionally — and also create resiliency and continuity of operations should an outage or a catastrophic event occur in the national capital region,” the news outlet reported Terry Wade, executive associate director for criminal and cyber at the bureau, said at the time.
“The FBI has had a presence at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, for more than 50 years,” the agency said on the jobs page of its website. “Today, over 1,000 employees work there in various operational and enterprise capacities.
“The FBI Redstone Arsenal state-of-the-art facilities present new opportunities to build our capabilities, create new partnerships, further our mission, and support our vision of becoming the FBI’s innovation and technology center of excellence.”
Existing plans call for building two campuses on the site that “will bring various FBI assets together to address tactical and specialized training requirements,” the agency said on the website.
“Every day, our employees at Redstone conduct forensic analysis in a lab environment, sort through data for critical investigations, or monitor networks for cyberattacks,” the agency said.