July 28, 2020 at 1:44 AM EDT
New Senate GOP coronavirus bill includes unrelated White House demand for FBI headquarters money
Under intense White House pressure, Senate Republicans agreed Monday to allocate $1.75 billion in their coronavirus relief bill toward the construction of a new D.C. headquarters for the FBI.
But top Senate Republicans immediately began distancing themselves from the provision after it was made public, saying they weren’t sure why the White House repeatedly insisted on putting it in the bill.
In calling for a new “Washington, DC headquarters facility,” the provision reflects President Trump’s ongoing interest in building a new headquarters for the FBI downtown, rather than a secure campus in the suburbs that was envisioned before he took office.
At a news conference Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) initially denied that the FBI money was in the bill, but then was notified by reporters that the language was in fact included.
By Jonathan O’Connell, Seung Min Kim and Erica Werner