Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) today testified before a House subcommittee in support of relocating the FBI headquarters to Virginia.
In remarks before the House Transportation subcommittee on public buildings, Wolf said putting the new headquarters in Virginia makes sense because several other FBI offices are already located there as well as a number of important facilities with ties to the FBI.
Wolf praised the quality of life Virginia provides, sighting its public schools and training opportunities at Virginia's higher education institutions that the FBI could take advantage of.
Additionally, Wolf encouraged the subcommittee against limiting its search for relocation sites within 2.5 miles of the Capital Beltway, as the Senate prospectus now requires. The Senate restrictions would prevent sites in Loudoun and Prince William counties from being considered.
In December, Wolf joined with other members of the northern Virginia congressional delegation in a letter urging the General Services Administration (GSA) to consider northern Virginia for the new location of the FBI headquarters facility.
The full text Wolf's testimony is below.
Chairman Barletta and Ranking Member Holmes Norton, thank you for holding today's hearing.
Let me begin by saying there is no doubt the FBI needs a new headquarters' building. I have been there on numerous occasions in my capacity as chairman of the House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations subcommittee, which funds the bureau. In fact, I was just there yesterday.
The present building is relic of another era and is in very poor condition. Two of the four elevators on the elevator bank we used didn't work.
Since 9 / 11 the bureau has assumed more responsibility as the nation's lead counterterrorism agency, and as it has added more responsibility is it has more than outgrown its present space.
Obviously, I am here to support the bureau moving its headquarters to Virginia.
It is the logical choice, especially considering:
A number of FBI agents live in Virginia.
The Washington Field Office's Resident Agency is in Virginia.
The FBI Academy is in Virginia.
The FBI's new records facility is slated to be built in Virginia.
There are also a number of other critically important facilities in northern Virginia with ties to the FBI, including the National Counterterrorism Center and other law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Having all these facilities within close proximity of each other makes sense and will allow for greater collaboration and operational efficiency.
There are a number of potential sites in Virginia that meet the needs of the bureau; whether they are in Fairfax County, Prince William County or Loudoun County.
They are all near major arteries and have access to mass transit. Most are within a 30 minute drive to the White House and Capitol Hill and all would meet the necessary security requirements.
Northern Virginia also is home to some of the best schools in the nation and I like to think it is a great place to live, work and raise a family. I raised all five of my children in northern Virginia and all are graduates of the Fairfax County public schools.
Virginia colleges and universities also have a number of programs and training opportunities the FBI can take advantage of.
As this process gets underway, I think it is important the relevant committees and GSA work to ensure that the federal government is getting the best deal it can.
It is for this reason that I encourage the subcommittee not limit its search to sites no further than 2.5 miles from the Capital Beltway, as the Senate prospectus requires. That would arbitrarily prevent sites in Loudoun and Prince William counties from being considered.
In early December I joined with other members of the northern Virginia congressional delegation in writing GSA to say we expect the procurement process to be open and fair. I hope that will be the case.
We also said we stand ready to assist with any additional information in support of the selection of a site in northern Virginia.
The bureau desperately needs a new headquarters and putting it in Virginia makes the most sense.
Again, thank you for allowing me to testify this morning.