(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The FBI is on track to receive a $300 new headquarters after 70 Republicans helped defeat an amendment from Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., that would have defunded the project.
Gaetz proposed the amendment to an appropriations bill on Wednesday, pointing out that the FBI doesn’t need a new building that will be larger than the Pentagon.
“The FBI has an employee base that’s about 2.3% of the U.S. military, but they’re literally asking for something that’s larger than the Pentagon,” Gaetz said during the debate of his amendment. “I don’t believe the FBI deserves a massive new headquarters or Washington field office.”
Republicans like @Rep_SteveWomack believe the FBI should be rewarded with a new $300M headquarters larger than the Pentagon because the building is “crumbling.”
Guess what? Our country is crumbling when a weaponized security state targets the civil liberties of American citizens… pic.twitter.com/MbQaYxsE9e
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) November 8, 2023
Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., led the GOP opposition to Gaetz. He said during the debate that “we’re not always going to hate the FBI.”
“What I do know is that when I tour the FBI headquarters, I saw it in a state of disrepair that’s going to need attention from the owners of the property—and that’s us,” he added. “The fact is the building is crumbling.”
Gaetz had a snappy comeback to Womack.
“It is not my grave concern that the FBI’s building is crumbling. It is my grave concern that the civil liberties of Americans are crumbling. And I wish we were more worried about that and less worried about whether we got new carpet and wallpaper at the FBI building,” he said.
“It is the FBI itself that is in a state of disrepair … I think those folks deserve to sit in the rat-infested J. Edgar Hoover Building until they get their act straight with American civil liberties.”
Despite Gaetz’s impassioned plea, 70 of his GOP colleagues voted down his amendment along with 203 Democrats.
A list of the Republcans to vote for new FBI headquarters can be found here. Along with Womack, a notable “no” vote was from Rep. Darin LaHood, who voted to give the FBI a new building despite the fact that the bureau admittedly spied on him.
After the vote, Gaetz expressed frustration at his RINO colleagues.
“Time after time we have seen the FBI target President Trump, people who believe in the Second Amendment, parents attending school board meeting, and more recently, some of their own brave FBI whistleblowers who have spoken up about the weaponization of our Federal Government,” he said.
“We should not be awarding nefarious behavior by wasting hundreds of millions of dollars for a new headquarters in the DC-area.”
Meanwhile, the FBI said Wednesday that it’s moving its headquarters from Washington DC to Greenbelt, Maryland.
“GSA determined Greenbelt to be the best site because it was the lowest cost to taxpayers, provided the greatest transportation access to FBI employees and visitors, and gave the government the most certainty on project delivery schedule,” a GSA spokesperson reportedly told several media outlets.
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.