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Ryan, mayors want FBI building in NE Ohio

There’s little chance President Donald Trump’s request for $1.8 billion for a new FBI headquarters will be approved by Congress in a COVID-19 bill and virtually no chance it would be relocated far from Washington, D.C., but U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan and 10 Northeast Ohio mayors are asking it come to this area.

In a Friday letter to the president, Ryan, D-Howland, and the mayors — including Youngstown’s Jamael Tito Brown, Warren’s Doug Franklin and Niles’ Steven Mientkiewicz — made a request to have the building come to Northeast Ohio.

“The payroll these approximately 8,000 FBI jobs bring with them would go much further in Northeast Ohio than they currently do in the Washington, D.C., region and moving the building to the Midwest would show your commitment to creating opportunity in a region that desperately needs the economic stimulus that such a move would bring,” the letter reads.

“We are fully committed to helping to aid in the job growth of the region,” the letter reads. “The potential investment and influx of thousands of jobs would have an astronomical impact for not only the region, but for the state of Ohio and neighboring Pennsylvania.”

The other mayors who signed the letter represent Akron, Cuyahoga Falls, Ravenna, Streetsboro, Kent, Barberton and Tallmadge.

But congressional Democrats oppose the proposal to rebuild the FBI headquarters on its current site in Washington, D.C., accusing Trump of wanting the redevelopment to help a hotel he owns across the street from that building.

Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, said he opposes the effort as he wants a new COVID-19 aid package to be strictly related to the government’s response to the pandemic.

Also, if a new FBI headquarters is built at some point, there is talk it could be relocated to nearby Virginia or Maryland.

dskolnick@tribtoday.com

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