White House: Money for new FBI building not a ‘deal-breaker’ in coronavirus relief talks


White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Wednesday said that the $1.75 billion for a new FBI building that Republicans included in their coronavirus relief package is not a “deal-breaker” in the ongoing talks.

“It’s in the bill. The president’s made clear that this is what he wants to see – it’s not a deal-breaker,” Ms. McEnany said on “CBS This Morning.” “This was part of the president’s priority of updating the FBI building, keeping it in D.C.”

Ms. McEnany said the top priority is finding some way to extend juiced-up unemployment benefits that are due to expire at the end of the week.

“The priority, as [the president] said yesterday, is those unemployment benefits,” she said.

Senate Republicans have said they don’t understand why the new money for the building is included in a GOP package that’s supposed to be about COVID-19.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared surprised earlier this week that the money was included in the plan he helped write. The Kentucky Republican has directed reporters to ask the White House for justification.

Democrats say the White House wants the money for the building so that the site near President Trump’s hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue can’t be used to build a competing hotel.

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