The Republican coronavirus stimulus proposal includes a number of measures meant to aid the American people amid the pandemic and the difficult economic circumstances it has brought, but there is one aspect of the new legislation that is raising plenty of eyebrows. As the GOP unveiled the HEALS Act Monday, tucked into 177-page appropriations section was a provision that would provide s $1.75 billion "for the design and construction of a Washington, D.C. headquarters facility for the Federal Bureau of Investigation," according to the bill's text and as reported by The Hill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, when first asked about the funding, said that he was unaware of it being included. Asked again, however, he told reporters to ask the Trump administration "why they insisted that be included," explaining that Republicans "had to have an agreement with the administration in order to get started."
Although unclear why exactly such a measure was included in a package meant to target the issues sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, the decision to include funding for a new FBI building comes as the Trump administration has pushed to keep the new headquarters in Washington, D.C. Some Democrats allegedly believe that the funds were included due to the president wishing to keep the current building from being torn down, which would allow a competitor to purchase what is deemed "prime real estate" located near the Trump International Hotel. CNN reports that “push for the funds caused significant problems during the intraparty negotiations.”
As details of the package were made available Monday night, reports of the nearly $2 billion for a new FBI headquarters shocked many on social media, and led to plenty of controversy from those who felt that the money could be better put towards other measures that would aid the American people. Keep scrolling to see how social media is reacting to this proposal of the newest stimulus package.
Why is money for the FBI building in the coronavirus relief bill? https://t.co/wezEEKg6pL— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) July 28, 2020
Let me get this straight they can fund 1.8 Billion to build a new FBI building but not give direct assistance to families in need! America...seriously? We can not put up with this bullsh🤬t! People are losing their lives and livelihoods during this pandemic. https://t.co/PFItFv8w1L— Nina Turner (@ninaturner) July 27, 2020
Can we all agree that a COVID relief bill should be just that, and not an opportunity for greedy politicians or the con man in the white house to load up on pork projects?
The outlays for a new FBI building and new fucking F-35s are reprehensible and should be cut immediately.— William Newsom (@WNewsom) July 28, 2020
$1.75 billion would cover a week of enhanced benefits for 2.9 million unemployed Americans
Or it could be used to renovate the FBI building so a competing hotel can’t be built across from Trump’s hotelJuly 28, 2020
Kudlow lied, no extension of moratorium on evictions in new GOP proposal.
But they gave nearly $2 billion for a new FBI building https://t.co/jbg2T2jHVf— Justin Goodman (@JustinPGoodman) July 27, 2020
So Mitch McConnell called the Democrats’ bill a socialist’s dream. Well what is it when it protects your donors from lawsuits, creates a new FBI building as a gift to the president’s hotel and screws over actual working Americans?— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) July 27, 2020
Why is a new FBI building in the coronavirus relief package? https://t.co/YDQEDH1OCO— Greta Van Susteren (@greta) July 27, 2020
Senate Republicans just put a provision to spend nearly $2 billion of taxpayer funds on a new FBI building across the street from the Trump International Hotel in their PANDEMIC RESPONSE bill.
Flagrant corruption does not cure COVID-19. https://t.co/CrsLjPVfTb— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) July 27, 2020
The GOP coronavirus bill has $1.75b for a new FBI building in its present location so as to block a potential competitor to the Trump Hotel, and 100% deduction for business meals (which would benefit Trump's hotels). But not a cent for safe and secure elections this November.— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 27, 2020
I just need to fully understand: You want to cut unemployment assistance by $400 but fund a new FBI Building for $1.4 Billion... PLEASE... PLEASE help me understand. "HEALS Act" pic.twitter.com/3tBrrk190o— Shannon Gurulé (@shannonmgurule) July 28, 2020
Remember when Trump stopped the FBI from moving to a new building? That was long ago, but it was to keep other hotels from moving into the vacant space and competing with him. He just tried it again for $1.75 billion.
Crooked to the core. https://t.co/yqz6lyxv4E— Hey, Dave! (@davegreenidge57) July 27, 2020
People are losing it all. Critical benefits are being cut. Livelihoods are falling apart.
For Mitch, the solution to this is a new FBI building and Apache helicopters.
A damn shame. A devastating shame.— Charles Booker (@Booker4KY) July 28, 2020
I don’t understand why FBI needs a new building during the pandemic where we do remote working. Money should be spent on more testing and building back our economy. FBI can wait— Léva (@Leva984) July 28, 2020
What a waste of taxpayer dollars. Where's literally anything that helps people instead?— Eliot Kemper (@KemperEliot) July 28, 2020