Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, delivered the following prepared testimony at the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Hearing on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Headquarters consolidation:
"Chairman Barletta and Ranking Member Holmes Norton, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to testify before this subcommittee regarding the consolidation of the headquarters for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
"As you know, the General Services Administration (GSA) recently issued a Request for Information (RFI) to obtain suggestions from the development community, local and state jurisdictions, and other interested parties for a new headquarters facility for the FBI within the National Capital Region (NCR). I, along with a united Virginia congressional delegation, believe that Northern Virginia would make the ideal location for the new FBI Headquarters.
"Northern Virginia is home to a majority of FBI personnel in the region. The FBI Academy and the FBI Laboratory, the premier crime lab in the U.S. employing over 500 scientific experts and special agents, are both located in Quantico, Virginia. The Northern Virginia Resident Agency, field office for several hundred agents, is located in Prince William County, and Winchester, Virginia, will be the future home of the FBI's Central Records Complex. A headquarters location in Northern Virginia would place it closer to these important FBI facilities.
"In addition, the FBI occupies numerous clandestine facilities elsewhere in Northern Virginia. The region is also home the National Counterterrorism Center and the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency. A FBI Headquarters location in Virginia would increase opportunities for cross-agency coordination and promote increased operational efficiency.
"Finally, Northern Virginia offers geographically advantageous locations, roughly equal distance from Quantico and Washington D.C., offering easy access to other Federal agencies, Congress, and the aforementioned major FBI facilities. Our region also has some of the best schools in the country, and is consistently ranked one of the best places to live, work, and raise a family. Taken together, these attributes would help to minimize the adverse transition and transportation effects on employees assigned to the new headquarters.
"While my top priority is to support efforts to locate the FBI Headquarters in Virginia, I would like to mention one location in Virginia's 8th District that I believe would be ideal for this facility, a GSA warehouse located in Springfield, Virginia. Situated on approximately 60 acres, the location could easily accommodate over 3.5 million square feet of highly-secure office space and allow for the productive use of underutilized government-owned real estate. The property also provides ample space for the FBI to accommodate potential future growth.
"Given recent local challenges created by BRAC relocations, I believe this Subcommittee should consider sites that would require the least amount of offsite infrastructure to support the traffic that would result from the relocation. In this regard, the Springfield location is unique. Between extensive improvements to Interstate 395, the Express Lane Project on the Beltway, and the completion of the Fairfax County "Parkway to Ft. Belvoir, over $1 billion has been invested in the road network in and around the this site. The Springfield site is also located next to the Franconia-Springfield Metro station, Amtrak and VRE rail lines, and is served by an effective bus system. The presence of both a high quality road network and mass transit options will help to promote efficient traffic flow and minimize the impact on the local community.
"As GSA proceeds with its selection process, I encourage the Subcommittee to ensure that this competition is conducted in a completely open and fair manner. Unlike the Senate-passed prospectus, which would prevent consideration of potential sites in the Dulles area, I urge the Subcommittee to oppose unnecessary restrictions on the location of the new FBI Headquarters. The decision of where to locate this facility should be based solely on what is best for the FBI's ability to fulfill its vital law enforcement and national security missions. Through a transparent process free of political considerations, I am fully confident that sites in Virginia will stand out among all the options.
"Thank you again for inviting me to testify and for your continued efforts to ensure that the best possible location is chosen as the new headquarters for the FBI."