GREENBELT, MD – Today, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) delivered the following remarks at a press event alongside other Maryland leaders to advocate for the FBI in Prince George’s County. Below is a transcript of his remarks:
“Thank you very much, County Executive. You missed the Metro, a few hundred feet behind you, cameras, pan into that Metro site. You ought to pan into the site behind us. Only a parking lot [but is] very necessary.
“There'll be another parking lot that Prince George's County is prepared to put up to make sure that the FBI can use a site proximate to the Metro station as [the] Landover and the Greenbelt [sites] are.
“We're in Greenbelt now, and I am so pleased to join with the County Executive. Senator Cardin, Senator Van Hollen, Congressman Anthony Brown, who represents the Landover site now and Glenn Ivey, who I believe will represent this site in the coming year. Congressman Mfume, thank you very much for being here, one of the senior Members of Congress. Delegate Nick Charles, the Chairman of the House Delegation. Senator Malcolm Augustine. I see Senator Joanne Benson, and the County Council Chair, I think, is to be here.
“Bob Mueller, the Director of the FBI, came to my office on September 27, 2009, thirteen years ago, and said our building is falling down, it's dangerous, it does not accommodate the FBI. Will you help me get a new facility to serve the American people as effectively as possible?
“I said, certainty. From that time to this, I have been working on this effort, along with Senator Cardin, Senator Van Hollen, Members of the Congress of the United States, Mr. Brown.
“That facility would have been built by now, in my view, save for Donald Trump saying, no, I don't want that site vacated. It will not surprise you that his hotel was almost immediately across the street.
“FBI Director Comey succeeded FBI Director Mueller. He too, wanted this site. He, too, supported this effort. He, too, supported the three sites that were chosen not by us, but by GSA, as the sites that were most likely to be good for the FBI. In May 2017, Trump fired FBI Director Comey and appointed the present Director Chris Wray on August 2 of 2017.
“This has been a long effort. I think nothing I could say would be more accurate, nor more pointed, nor more relevant than the remarks that we have just heard from the County Executive. This is a dynamic county. It is one of the best educated and [has the] most equity of any minority county in America.
“We are one of the examples of success, but we also have a Montgomery County and I like it. Many years ago, said yes, we have a lot in Montgomery County and Prince George's County ought to have this facility.
“The state is united. Governor Hogan is for these two sites. In my view the next governor, Wes Moore, who could not be here today, is for this site - and I mean Landover or Greenbelt. A new, consolidated FBI Headquarters in Prince George's County represents one of these potential transformative actions of which the County Executive spoke so eloquently. Landover and Greenbelt are exactly the types of underserved communities that President Biden argued stand to gain the most from federal projects.
“This is the best example of that, that President Biden and this Administration will have in these first four years. These two sites are located in Prince George's County, as has been said, the largest Black-majority county in the country, which federal agencies have too frequently excluded from leased federal office space. We have 4% of the office space in the Washington metropolitan region. As the County Executive said, we have 20% of the federal workers. Fairfax County has 11%. But Prince George's County has 48% of the warehouse space.
“We are more than a warehouse county!
“With a new FBI Headquarters, we have a chance to help correct this imbalance. The facility would bring quality public sector jobs to Black communities and an influx of customers to local Black-owned small businesses. The same businesses will also have new federal contracting and procurement opportunities. One of the major priorities of the federal government has been, is now, and will be in the future, development at a site. That is available at Landover, it's available right here as well in Greenbelt. But we're not talking simply about, as County Executive Alsobrooks, said, about the population or the demographics. These are the two best sites, the least expensive sites, the most transit-friendly sites available to just feet from the Beltway, just feet from the MARC system - railroad system, as well as the transit system.
“This is the right decision to make. And when County Executive Alsobrooks mentioned that a criteria was added on [September] 23 of this year, thirteen years after this project had been discussed, reviewed, and put out to bid, which was then attenuated by Donald Trump. There was no mention of proximity to Quantico, no mention of proximity to other FBI facilities. And very frankly, I made it clear to the Administration and to others that one should not say, because we have one facility here, we're going to put all the facilities here. That's why Prince George's has 4% of the office space and other jurisdictions have 11 or 12 or 15%. This is a matter of good judgment for the FBI, a good site which allows them to obtain the security clearances they want. They want 150 feet setback. You go down Pennsylvania Avenue, they have 10 or 12 or 15 feet setback. That was one of the major criteria, these sites provide that.
“That's where we want a safe, secure, and effective FBI. I am so pleased to be here with our County Executive, so proud of our County Executive, so proud of our county officials. By the way, Maryland has put $250 million on the table and Prince George's County has also put money on the table. I don't think that's true of other sites. I'm now pleased to yield to my colleague, Ben Cardin, our senior United States Senator, who has been with me and with this county at every step of the way for these two sites. Ladies and gentlemen, the senior senator from Maryland, Benjamin Cardin.”