House Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, advocated for the FBI to move its primary quarters to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, or another location, during a Fox News appearance Sunday.
Earlier this month, Jordan sent a letter to the appropriations committee advocating power of the purse reform of federal law enforcement. The letter recommends Congress “eliminate any funding for the FBI that is not absolutely essential for the agency to execute its mission” to reign in FBI abuses. Jordan did not define “absolutely essential,” but he did suggest cutting all funding for a new FBI headquarters facility and relocating the bureau outside the Washington D.C. area.
“We certainly don’t want to build them a new headquarters in the Washington D.C. area. We’re looking at going to Huntsville Alabama because that’s already their second headquarters. Twenty of their 30 divisions are there, so we’re looking at that. We think that could be helpful,” Jordan said.
Jordan chairs the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, created in January in response to FBI investigations of former President Donald Trump and the release of the Twitter files. According to Jordan, subcommittee inquiries into those political issues yielded “startling testimony about egregious abuses, misallocation of federal law-enforcement resources, and misconduct within the leadership ranks of the FBI.”
The recommendation implies moving FBI headquarters to Huntsville would stop the bureau from committing crimes. The organization is often accused of assassinating Martin Luther King, Jr. and took the lead in the 1993 Waco siege that burned 80 people, including 28 children, to death. The events took place 764 miles and 1231.75 miles away, respectively, from the FBI’s current headquarters at the J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington D.C.
The FBI has planned to relocate its headquarters for 15 years to consolidate work into a single facility, but the process has stalled. Sites in Maryland and Virginia have remained popular options due to their proximity to the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
The current $3 billion FBI facility at Redstone Arsenal, now undergoing construction projects, is considered a second headquarters, according to an al.com interview with Johnnie Sharp, assistant director IT infrastructure division and the senior officer at FBI Redstone.
“First and foremost, the FBI is strategically realigning our resources – identifying functions that don’t have to be in the National Capital Region and creating redundancy here at Redstone – so we don’t have everything so concentrated in D.C. I often joke that if we have a zombie apocalypse in Washington and it’s taken offline, we’ve essentially got our unofficial second headquarters in Huntsville,” Sharp wrote in a June opinion column.
The Redstone facility now focuses on training and developing intelligence on technological and cyber threats. They opened a Terrorist Explosive Device Analytic Center in 2015, supplementing their Hazardous Devices School to counter improvised explosive devices. The construction projects at the facility will expand FBI Huntsville’s workforce from around 1,800 to nearly 4,000 employees.