Newest Md. Congress member makes case for Prince George’s County as site of new FBI HQ

Glenn Ivey, Maryland’s newest member of Congress, will have to quickly jump in the fray on Capitol Hill, especially with the FBI and the General Services Administration expected to select a new headquarters this spring.

Ivey has called bringing the new facility to Prince George’s County his top priority once he takes office.

The federal government is in the process of choosing among three locations: Springfield, Virginia; and Landover and Greenbelt, in Maryland, which are both in Ivey’s district.

“We’re trying to do everything we can to get the headquarters here because we think we deserve it on the merits,” said Ivey, who takes office next week. “It saves federal tax dollars to the tune of, depending on the estimate, $300 million to $500 million.”

Ivey pointed out that Maryland and Prince George’s County together have set aside money to help absorb some of the costs the federal government would incur developing the two sites in Maryland.

“From a federal perspective it just makes sense to put it here, just on the money,” Ivey said. “But there are other merits we should win on, as well.”

However, cost is among the least important factors being considered by the federal government in this process, and the most important factor leans heavily in Virginia’s direction.

Last fall, an updated scoring criteria released by the FBI and GSA prioritized proximity to other off-site facilities the FBI uses, with the biggest weight given to how close it would be to the bureau’s training academy in Quantico.

That lines up with the arguments made by Virginia lawmakers who have boosted the Springfield site, saying its proximity makes it better equipped to help the FBI conduct its mission and fulfill its purpose.

There’s a belief in Maryland that the scoring criteria was weighted that way on purpose. In recent weeks, lawmakers and Gov.-elect Wes Moore have been appealing directly and indirectly to the Biden administration on equity grounds.

Following taking office, President Biden issued an executive order that said the federal government needed to better promote and advance equity in underserved communities.

Maryland Democrats have argued that this is exactly the sort of situation that order is supposed to address.

“Those were statements that were made by the Biden Administration,” Ivey said. “We want to ask them to stay true to that. I know they walked into this to some extent, but Prince George’s County has been redlined on a lot of these federal office spaces for decades now, and it’s time for that to end.”

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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