The competition continues: Maryland and Virginia continue to make their pitches for new FBI headquarters

The neighbors are at it again.

Maryland and Virginia continue to pitch the pros of their respective jurisdictions while they try to win the competition to become the next home of the FBI.

A week after the General Services Administration contacted delegations from Virginia and Maryland to say that its decision on where to locate the FBI would come after additional “consultations” with representatives from both jurisdictions, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore weighed in.

During a visit to North Bethesda on Friday, Moore told reporters he was intent on “making sure that the FBI ends up in the state of Maryland.”

Moore called landing the FBI headquarters one of his highest priorities, and urged the GSA and the FBI to stick to the criteria previously laid out in the selection process, including a focus on equity.

“Making sure that you are prioritizing equity does not mean that you are compromising excellence. You can and you should do both,” he said.

Moore said Prince George’s County has a diverse workforce and that “despite being the most affluent majority African American county inside of this entire country,” the county has been neglected when it comes to being considered as a prime location for federal assets.

Moore said Maryland’s two proposed sites, in Greenbelt and Landover, tick all the boxes for the requirements set out by federal officials.

On transportation, Moore said, “We are very proud of the transportation assets we have here in the state of Maryland and in Prince George’s County where the building would go,” he said.

When it comes to cost, Moore argued that Prince George’s County would be “not just competitive — but the most competitive option,” he said.

Moore’s comments followed a rally last week in which Virginia officials argued that the proposed site in Springfield was the best of three sites under consideration because it’s closest to the FBI’s National Academy and National Crime Lab, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s D.C. headquarters.

Elected officials in both jurisdictions have complained about the process, with accusations that their competitor sought to rewrite the rules for selection. Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland griped that making proximity to Quantico an important consideration “is just wrong,” while Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia said lawmakers should refrain from trying to “micromanage” the selection process.

In making his case on Friday, Moore said, “The only thing we are asking, as a unified voice, as a unified state is this … stay consistent to the guidelines that you laid out. Do not change the rules in the ninth inning.”

Moore said that if the GSA and the FBI keep to their guidelines, “the rightful place for this new building will be the state of Maryland.”

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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