Count him in: Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville likes the idea of moving the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s national headquarters to the Rocket City.
In a tweet Monday morning, Tuberville threw in his support:
The senator was referencing a Wall Street Journal story from earlier this month reporting that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) supports moving the headquarters to Huntsville.
This comes as the bureau is eyeing a move from its Washington, D.C. building to a suburb of the nation’s capital, in either Maryland or Virginia.
The FBI currently works out of the 50-year-old J. Edgar Hoover Building, with more than 5,000 employees, located across the street from the Justice Department’s headquarters.
According to the Journal, it’s another volley in the war going on between the FBI and Republicans who say the agency has grown too partisan in its investigations of former President Donald Trump, and moving to a “red” state might change the organization’s priorities.
The FBI, in response, said there are “numerous operational reasons” to keep the headquarters in Washington, given its proximity to the FBI academy near Quantico, Va., and other intelligence agencies. In a statement, the bureau said its Huntsville campus couldn’t accommodate the minimum of 8,500 employees planned to occupy the new headquarters in Washington.
The FBI is building what’s unofficially been described as a second headquarters at Redstone Arsenal. Federal funding for ongoing construction has already exceeded $3 billion.
“This idea that we’re going to build a new, big Pentagon and put all the FBI mainly in one place, I don’t think it’s a good structure,” Kevin McCarthy said Friday.
”One of the goals we’ve set in this Congress as Republicans is to do the oversight so we can impact the appropriations process,” Jordan said in a brief interview at the Capitol, and “put limitations on how taxpayer money is spent to stop the weaponization of these agencies against the American people.”
Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, which is competing with neighboring Maryland to host the new FBI headquarters, called the Republican ideas “a solution in search of a problem.”
”I think they just got a political bug against federal law enforcement agencies,” he said.
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle issued a one-sentence statement to AL.com in response to the Wall Street Journal story: “We’re proud of the FBI presence in Huntsville and will support whatever Congress decides is best for the betterment of our country.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.