Senate Republicans rolled out their proposed $1 trillion coronavirus relief package on Monday afternoon, but quickly faced criticism after including money for a new FBI headquarters in the nation's capital.
The GOP "HEALS Act" includes $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 text.
The non-pandemic-related expense is a top priority for President Donald Trump but not for lawmakers or Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Trump's hotel is across the street from it on Pennsylvania Avenue.
When asked about the decision to include money for the FBI headquarters in the coronavirus relief package, McConnell deferred questions to the White House and said "you'll have to ask them why they insisted that be included."
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham said he's "not particularly" supportive of the building funding being included in the bill, according to CNN.
Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told the Washington Post that some items included in the proposal needed to "stretch the link" to the coronavirus pandemic.
After meeting with Republican leaders Monday evening, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized the proposal.
“They managed to have enough money for $2 billion for the FBI headquarters that benefits Trump hotel and they say they have no money for food assistance?" said Schumer. “What the heck is going on?”
Shortly after taking office, the Trump administration canceled a plan to build a new campus for the FBI in nearby suburbs of Maryland or Virginia. Democrats have previously accused Trump of acting in his self-interest by insisting the headquarters stay in downtown D.C. near his hotel.