Planned construction of DHS headquarters now in doubt

A new headquarters for the DHS that is now 11 years behind schedule may never be completed, according to planning documents and federal officials.

After the September 11, 2001, attacks, the George W. Bush administration called for a new DHS headquarters to strengthen the department's ability to coordinate the battle against terrorism and respond to natural disasters. The initial plan estimated the complex would be finished earlier as this year at a cost of $3 billion, the Washington Post reports.

The estimated completion of the project has now been pushed to 2026 with the budget ballooning to $4.5 billion. According to budget documents and federal officials, the project has been starved of funds by both Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

"The cost of the project has increased due to the extended timeline," Mafara Hobson, a spokeswoman for the General Services Administration (GSA), said, according to the Washington Post. "GSA and DHS haven't received the appropriations that this project needs to keep it on its original schedule. Construction is a commodity market, and costs increase with delays.''

Officials suggested even the revised completion date of 2026 may not be realistic.

"Sometimes you just have to drop back and punt," Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) said, according to the Washington Post. "At what point in time does the government just cut its losses and look for a better way of doing things?"

Republicans recently called for a reevaluation of the project, suggesting private developers could build a more modest office complex and lease it to the government, the Washington Post reports.

"It's just not going to happen," a Republican congressional aide, said, according to the Washington Post. "The money doesn't exist."