No. 2 GOP senator: Not a lot of support for FBI building funds in COVID bill

No. 2 GOP senator: Not a lot of support for FBI building funds in COVID bill
© Greg Nash

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSenate votes to take up infrastructure deal Senators say they have deal on 'major issues' in infrastructure talks Senators reach billion deal on emergency Capitol security bill MORE (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, on Wednesday said that there is not “a lot” of support for including funding for a new FBI building in a coronavirus relief bill.

“I think it came as a surprise to a lot of people that the funding for the FBI building was in the bill. They’d have to make a better argument than what I’ve seen so far,” Thune said.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of support from our members for issues in the bill that are not directly related to the coronavirus,” he added.

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Tucked into the GOP coronavirus package was $1.75 billion for designing and building a new FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Thune’s comments came shortly after President TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away MORE doubled down on the funding request.

Trump, speaking from the White House on Wednesday morning, criticized Republican senators who have been critical of its inclusion, saying they should “go back to school and learn.”

“They have been trying to build a new building for many, many years,” Trump told reporters at the White House as he was departing for a trip to Texas on Wednesday morning.

Trump’s decision to double down comes after several Republicans questioned the decision. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAn August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done After police rip Trump for Jan. 6, McCarthy again blames Pelosi The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands MORE (R-Ky.) and Thune both said on Tuesday that they want the FBI funding out of the bill.

“When we get to the end of the process, I would hope all of the non-COVID-related measures are out, no matter what bill they were in at the start,” McConnell told reporters.