January 9th, 2009
04:59 PM ET

$3.4B Homeland Security Complex Approved: What does it mean?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In the midst of a recession, the federal government announced plans to build a massive headquarters for the Department of Homeland Security.

The 3.4 billion dollar construction project will be one of the largest in the Washington, D.C. area since the Pentagon was built in the 1940s.

St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C.

But this comes at a time of economic crisis. President-elect Barack Obama has issued a dire warning about the economy and has vowed to slash the federal budget.

So does the Department of Homeland Security really need a complex on a 176- acre site perched on a hill with panoramic views of the nation's capitol? Currently the department's 14,000 employees are scattered all across the Washington, D.C. area. Maybe the problem is just bad timing?

The location is on the grounds of St. Elizabeth's Hospital, a national landmark because it's where the first federal psychiatric institution was established in 1852.You can do your own joke here.

Historic preservationists have spent years arguing that the project will ruin the site and the National Park Service is still opposed.

It's not a done deal quite yet. The project still needs approval from Congress. If it moves forward, construction, which would last until 2016, would create 26,000 jobs.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean that a $3.4 billion federal construction project can get approved during an economic crisis?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Jeff from Minnesota writes:
JOBS! Hopefully, lots of them.

Jackie in Dallas, Texas writes:
While I see this as an opportunity to put people to work, I feel that it is wrong to spend this money now. There are millions of square feet of unoccupied, already built space that could be modified to handle the Department of Homeland Security.

Katie from Illinois writes:
Congress must not approve this frivolous expenditure. Whose idea is this? Billions have already been wasted on this inept organization and this is just another sign of government waste. $3.4 billion could be put into much better use with our economy being in such dire shape. This is beyond being ridiculous!

Bizz from Quarryville, Pennsylvania writes:
I can agree about them needing a building for homeland security but costing 3.4 billion with a completion date of 2016 is as crazy as the land they’re using to build it on. This only proves that our government can talk the talk but not walk the walk like the rest of us are forced to do.

Ron from Florida writes:
We need another site with Federal Buildings like we need another hole in our heads. Use that 3.4B dollars to repair and rehab other government buildings who need it, that will keep the 26,000 Americans working and improve what we already have in existence.

Frederic writes:
My main concern would be creating a new target for terrorists. If you have Homeland Security offices, they should be hidden and impossible to locate. That is the definition of security. Telling your enemies where you are is just blowing your cover. A dangerous idea, for all of us, that should be stopped while we still can.

Ramona in Las Vegas, Nevada writes:
Jack, I think Wolfes dancing is HOT.

Filed under: Spending • US Federal Government
soundoff (230 Responses)
  1. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Jack, it means that someone is getting one heck of a kickback payment while the American taxpayer is left footing the bill…yet again!

    January 9, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  2. James

    That the federal government is only interested in wasting money. Oh how things do not change!

    January 9, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  3. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    It means that whoever was the driving force behind this project has some serious political juice.

    January 9, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  4. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    It means that we are in even deeper trouble than anyone can begin to understand. It means that the fools who approved this boondoggle are completely out of touch with reality on two counts: 1) that there is no money for this foolhardy project, and 2) that it is completely unnecessary as is the DHS.

    January 9, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  5. Pamela-Ohio

    It means that funding goes to the ones that find favor. And it is certainly not mainstream America.

    January 9, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  6. David

    It sounds like business as usual. Taxpayers continue to get screwed.

    January 9, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  7. don in naples, florida

    it means the national debt is going higher; and our government knows that our ties with israel and constant meddling in the middle east make us a major target for terror.

    January 9, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  8. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    $3.4 billion down the drain.

    January 9, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  9. Anthony Smith

    It means that we are out of control and that the government does not give a DAMN about the people who elected them. It is time to start looking into living abroad. I am almost ashamed to live in this country!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    January 9, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  10. John from California

    It's obvious defense contractors have most of congress in their back pocket, why do you think we're in two wars right now. War profiteering needs to end.

    January 9, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  11. Allan G. Hanson Placerville, Ca.

    Well at least you can't blame this on Obama. It is King George all the way.
    Hopefully Obama can overrule this obsene expenditure.
    Good luck.

    January 9, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  12. lynnej from lattimore, nc

    It means that someone needs to put the breaks on this dog and pony show and fast. With all those empty buildings around left from closed up businesses, they couid refurbish one of those rather cheaply.

    Instead, these 'people' are continuing ways to continually screw us while the country goes down the toilet.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  13. Conor in Chicago

    That the government fully expects civil disorder and the possible fragmentation of the country without it. Read your history about the 1930's in this country. What you learned in high school was propaganda. This country almost went communist and nearly descended into chaos. Food riots, massive labor strikes, there was even a coup plot against Roosevelt that got disrupted at the last moment early in his first administration. As governments often do ours believes that a massive domestic intelligence operation is necessary to keep order. Holding on to power has no real price-especially when it is those you intend to subjugate who will pay the bill.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  14. V.K. Raman, Sparks

    Food-basket security is first as people are losing their jobs. The war mongering adminstration's priority is misplaced.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  15. Gigi in Alabama

    To me it looks as though a lot of construction workers are going to have a good job for a long time. As Martha Stewart would say, "That's a good thing".

    January 9, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  16. Barbara - NC

    It means they don't care about us. Only about posh offices and all the other stuff they get at our expense.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  17. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: It means that the ecomomic crisis only effects those who have not--not those who have. It is the most absurb joke played on the American people by the Congress of Jestures--and the sad part-we keep electing these "court jestures" every term. When money talks-the truth often remains hidden-and bullsh** walks....and Americans will be doing a lot of walking.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  18. Doug - Dallas, TX

    Our government at it's finest!

    Why not spend $3.4 billion while the economy is in the toilet, the deficit will be over $1.2 trillion this year, 2.6 million have lost their jobs, people are losing their homes and there is office space galore available. If I managed a business like that, I would be fired, broke, in jail or all of the above.

    And we wonder why we have problems??

    January 9, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  19. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    It means that leadership in congress is horrible.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  20. Jeff in Minnesota

    JOBS! Hopefully, lots of them.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  21. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    one of our major problems analizing threats against the United States is our various Agencies and responsibilities are spaced all over the place. By putting, as much as possible, representatives of the various agencies together we can see better cooperation between agencies and a flow of information that will allow the US to make better decisions about threats facing us and keep us up to date on threats around the Globe.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  22. Jerry from Jacksonville

    It just goes to show what a bunch of idiots we have running our government, does this damn place have gold plated toilets? What the hell is wrong with the place they are in now? Looks like another waste of taxpayers money.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  23. Judie from St. Augustine, Fl

    It means that the powers that be have their priorities very mixed up. Maybe they should concentrate on feeding, clothing and sheltering the citizens of this country so there will be people left here to protect. I think we should vote out all of the nincompoos that have been in office more than one term. They seem to lose sight of the needs of the people they work for, you know, us the taxpayers.
    St. Augustine, Fl

    January 9, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  24. jyll from TEXAS

    makes about as much sense as the porn industry asking for a 5 million $$$ bailout

    January 9, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  25. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Someone's family started a construction business and needed a helping hand to get it off of the ground. There will be a lot of people leaning on shovels in Washington in the coming months just like most of the construction workers do in our country. And finally, we the people are being taken to a new cleaners by our so called leaders again. This money would pay off 34,000 loans of $100,000 each.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  26. Joan

    Sounds like infrastructure and badly needed jobs. Exactly what the economy needs right now. But, they need to start right away.

    Waterloo, Ontario

    January 9, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  27. Tina Texas

    I hear a pig squealing. What is wrong with the building they are in now? This one just stinks

    January 9, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  28. JD in NH

    It means they care more about bricks and mortar than Americans losing their homes to foreclosure, the tens of millions of Americans suffering and dying from lack of healthcare and the increasing number of job losses from coast to coast. It's almost amusing that it's for the "Homeland Security" complex, a branch of government founded by the paranoid for the paranoid. Security to me is a secure job, a roof over my head, food in the pantry and a doctor I can call when I'm sick.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  29. garrick

    hi jack
    it means they care more about big goverment than millions losing jobs and homes.I guess they will name it after Cheney and call it the Torcher Building.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  30. Scott, Wichita

    Well, they gave 200 times that to the CEO's in Wall Street. 3.4 billion is less than a 10th of a percent of the Federal Budget, or equivalent to me spending 50 bucks for dinner and a movie.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  31. L.M.,Arizona

    It means we are following Bush,s doctrine of not knowing what the hell we are doing.


    January 9, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  32. S, Michigan

    Means jobs- it's those sort of projects that we need to stimulate the economy; large contruction projects help every facet of the economy; it's better than spending money to study the dna of bears in montana or for a mob museum in Vegas!

    January 9, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  33. D - Atlanta, GA

    It's crystal clear....they J U S T don't get it.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  34. Mark in OKC

    It means that when our leaders in Washington D.C. tell the rest of us that we ALL have to tighten our belts, they are letting theirs out.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  35. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I think Congress is attempting to hide some of their lack of "accountability" for bailout money under this federal construction project. It's kind of like the "Ponzi" scheme.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  36. Jackie in Dallas

    While I see this as an opportunity to put people to work, I feel that it is wrong to spend this money now. There are millions of square feet of unoccupied, already built space that could be modified to handle the Homeland Security needs.

    I'm actually still not totally sold on the fact that we need Homeland Security - I've always thought that the jobs they are supposed to do are things that were in the original mandate for the FBI and the CIA. Perhaps they could settle into leased space for now and save us taxpayers a couple of billion dollars in a time when we should be counting and recounting every dollar that goes out the door, and while the new administration does a thorough evaluation of just what they've done since inception, how much it has cost us, and whether we should continue to fund them at all.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  37. AndyZag Lynn, MA

    It means that we are desparate and are doing our best to create jobs. And to answer a question with a question; can anyone name three signifcant accomplishments of DHS? Didn't think so.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  38. Meg Ulmes

    It means too many legislators in Congress are still operating under the old rules. The number of jobs that would be created sounds good, but it's a lot of money to provide a central location for Homeland Security. I think that they need a central location and building in which to operate, but does it have to cost this much? Aren't there any empty lots or vacant buildings in DC that could be renovated on built on to serve the same purpose? Couldn't somebody look?

    Troy, Ohio

    January 9, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  39. Jim/NC

    Obama wants to create jobs. What's the problem?

    January 9, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  40. Jeff in Glen Carbon IL

    I don't care how many jobs it creates, it needs to be nixed! If ever a federal reorganization failed it was this one. The CIA and NSA and former INS computers don't talk to each other nor to FBI; FEMA is disconnected from everyone; the department needs to be broken up nearly to what it was before 9/11. Any change in the offices of that group should only be done AFTER a major reorganization back to the wayy it was. It is much too big to manage effectively and MUCH too much money is being wasted because the people at the top have no clue as to even the names of the 50 plus entities that report to it.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  41. Lois Canada

    This sounds like a job for extreme makeover.......They should qualify, the government is a bit of a sob story!

    January 9, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  42. odessa

    it is too good to be true; it must be attached by some restrictions..

    January 9, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  43. HD Taylor - Arizona

    That its always great to be at the top...

    HD Taylor
    Phoenix, AZ

    January 9, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  44. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I can agree about them needing a building for homeland security but costing 3.4 billion with a completion date of 2016 is as crazy as the land there using to build it on. This only proves that our gov't can talk the talk but not walk the walk like the rest of us are forced to do.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  45. Bob in Baltimore

    Maybe they can call it the Chertoff Atrocity!

    January 9, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  46. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Let's see, 26,000 jobs which means that 13,000 union workers can lean on shovels and get paid $26 per hour not counting overtime. Wow more American ways to improve the economy. Good idea.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  47. Billy G in Las Vegas

    it's probably twice the price that actually needs to be spent because the government seems to always go for "royal palace" projects when they build something BUT creating 26,000 new construction jobs in the current economic environment is definately a GOOD thing.

    BUT there needs to be strong oversite accounting so we taxpayers don't get robbed too badly. it seems like every government construction project, esp in Washington, ends up costing three times or more the original estimate.

    it's kind of like Pentagon weapons systems.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  48. James

    it means the government is still wasting your tax payers dollars....nothing will change

    January 9, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  49. Christine, Thousand Oaks California

    It means we haven't learned anything and that our priorities are screwed up. There are a lot of things i want to do too, but I have to be prudent and wait for better times. Our government needs to do the same. Put that money toward Obama's Stimulus Package. He could create 26,000 additional jobs rebuilding our infrastructure.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  50. David Janesville WI

    I think that is the best news I have heard in a little while. Anything that will create work and implement a new headquarters for the nation's intelligence is great.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  51. chris

    it's simple jack it's the same old thign govt waste of taxpayers have not stopped

    January 9, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  52. Laurie

    It means nothing in D.C. has changed yet . Sadly perhaps this is a sign , it never will .....

    January 9, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  53. Willow, Iowa

    It means to me that even tho our country is "in the tank", the people at the top have no idea of how to save or conserve.

    I used to live in a very small town, and the budget was in the newspaper, and there was a bill paid for four hundred dollars for a zip code book for the tax assessor. I called them up and asked, "Why pay $400 for this book, when the Post Office is right across the street?" Well, they didn't know why, but they just had to have it.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  54. tom, windsor, wi

    It means absolutely nothing unless US citizens are used for labor and US products are used to build it.

    Then make the move and don't tell the current Homeland Security people where the building is. Just hire some that can and will actually do the job.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  55. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    If the other government agencies had competent people running them, and did their jobs, there would be no need for homeland security. So now we put ourselves more in debt to finance and fund another government agency that will be run by incompetents and cronies. Why do the republicans always say the democrats expand government and then turn around and spend billions on another inept agency? Better yet, why does Congress always go along with it?

    January 9, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  56. Susan/Bel Air, MD

    It means that the government is stimulating the economy! Aren't building and construction projects the heart of the new plan? And no agency's personnel should have to deal with the inefficiency of being "scattered all across the Washington, D.C. area". You can joke about reusing a psychiatric institution, but I'm sure dealing with the situation on a daily would make anyone, well, you can do your own joke here.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  57. Robert from Syracuse, IN

    Jack, it's not that the timing is bad. It's another example of government run amuck. Why don't these people build a complex somewhere like New Orleans. That way the government can kill two birds with one stone. They can find distance themselves from the beltway mentality while doing something constructive to pay back the people of New Orleans for the mess the government created after Katrina.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  58. Michelle Long Beach, Ca

    This better mean that our government is having unemployed LEGAL Americans build it! It better mean our government is hiring unemployed LEGAL Americans to work inside the building once it's completely built! Greed and the American Taliban (Bush/Christian Republicans) will be the end of America as we know it. Unfortunately, Obama will be blamed for Bush's wild fires he can't put out.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  59. John, Fort Collins, CO

    The Department of Homeland Security ought to stick with the same architect they used to design housing for the victims of the Katrina hurricane. Not only would mobile homes be far less expensive, but in a disaster the whole organization could be quickly moved to the point of need. It would also make it easier to downsize if the new administration decides to get rid of some of the lunchmeat.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  60. Tom in Dallas

    $3.4 billion spent on a Home Land Security building on a site previously used as a psychiatric institution – there is something ironic about that, if not telling. I hope it has a spa? At least a building taxpayer's can see where the money went, unlike the $5 trillion additional debt Bushed wracked up.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  61. Kellie, PA

    Housing the department of homeland security in one centralized location is a priority. History teaches us that your adversaries will strike when your weakness has emerged. Our crippling economy puts us at risk for attack unlike any point in our nation's recent history. If President-Elect Obama wants to spend money on this endeavor considering the tone of yesterday's speech, he must have a darn good reason for it.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  62. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    cannot make assessment on the location chosen but from what you write another place could be chosen since the Historic preservationists have spent years arguing that the project will ruin the site and the National Park Service is still opposed.

    Is it really bad timing if 26,000 jobs will be created?

    January 9, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  63. Mike - Hot Springs, Arkansas

    It means that Congress and the federal government has not got the message. Do they understand that the country has thousands of vacant office buildings. Why not use one of them? I am sure some landlord with a very large empty building would be happy to assist them.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  64. Jane (Minnesota)

    Treat it like any other infrastructure Project or Fed Program needs to be treated from now on – run it through a Common Sense Cost – Benefit analysis and see if the Benefits outweigh the costs. If the project does go...........please do not include any $235,000 bathrooms or other ridiculous stuff though like the Interior dpmt. did!

    January 9, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  65. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Congress must not approve this frivalous expenditure. Whose
    idea is this? Billions have already been wasted on this inept
    organization and this is just another sign of government waste.
    $3.4 billion could be put into much better use with our economy
    being in such dire shape. This is beyond being ridiculous!

    January 9, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  66. David in San Diego

    Badly worded question: as the test of the posting states, it has not been approved yet.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  67. Dave from Orlando

    I see no reason for spending all that money building a new facility when we have an existing one that will serve the purpose more perfectly. It will provide “humane care” for these twits who do nothing but spy on us and ignore our borders. It can be even more useful if those who approved this waste were sent there also. That way we can kill three bird brains with one crock.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  68. Terry in Hanover County

    I want to add a new kitchen to my home to replace the current one, but after doing my budget, I figured out now is not the time because I can't afford it. Sure, it would have meant thousands of dollars for a local contractor and a few stores, but what good is a new kitchen, if I have to sell the house because I could no longer afford to pay the existing mortgage? The new Homeland Security Project you cited proved to me two things: (1) that Congress has no clue how much the poor and middle class struggle daily to make ends meet, and (2) that Sarah Palin should replace Ted Stevens because clearly Congress is full of people just like her. Stupid is as stupid does.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  69. rachel K

    It means it is one program the President to be need to look and see if we can eliminate sub-programs that don't work or are not needed!

    January 9, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  70. Annie, Atlanta

    Don't they have an old office building somewhere. Or how about the Blair house? 109 rooms for dignitaries is a bit excessive, don't you think? Once again, our tax dollars hard at work for us – NOT. Are the folks in DC really that out of touch?

    January 9, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  71. Emma,boston,ma

    Means better spying on Americans and taking away civil liberties!

    January 9, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  72. jyll from TEXAS


    January 9, 2009 at 3:52 pm |

    It means that the number of jobs it will create does not put in dent in the number of jobs that has been lost around the world.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  74. Duke, Sarasota

    Let's not be fooled, Jack. This is really the SECOND federal psychiatric
    institution, to be used when everyone loses their minds after the
    economy hits bottom. You were right to put this question AFTER the
    previous one of How Bad will the economy get?

    January 9, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  75. Andre R. Newcomb

    Hope they get some background checks on the contractors and ALL their employees (construction). Think there's any chance on video sales? Some might be interesting.

    Andy of Sierra Vista, Arizona

    January 9, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  76. Cori from Colorado

    The government spends what is wants, how it wants. That's a heap load of money to spend on a building, and yet the country is falling apart. Millions of people have lost everything. That money could have at the very least, paid for universal health care, which our country is in desperate need. Millions are dying everyday of illness, and now with the economy in dire straits, who knows what the future holds. Crime will rise, more death is inevitable, and it will only be a matter of time before we implode. Who will keep us safe from ourselves?

    January 9, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  77. Ron from SF

    It means that reality has nothing to do with Fatherland Security. Not only should they not build this monster, they should scrap that organization, outright. It’s a Bloated, Ineffective, Fascist Cancer on our country, that’s more dedicated to spying on and keeping Americans in line, than in actually pursuing Terrorists.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  78. circy in New Mexico

    Just another example of the government thinking this money is theirs to do whatever they want with it (fiddle while Rome burns). Maybe every person involved in this should be required to write a 5 page report explaining why they think this should be done and submit the report to the public for scrutiny, before it is approved.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  79. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    Homeland Security makes us wait in long lines at the airport to take off our shoes, gives us great advice like to use duct tape in the case of biological attack, and gives us a color coded fear factor. Yet our boarders are unsecurred and our ports are open to all kinds of potential threats hidden in uscreened cargo. Now there are plans for this boondogle to house fourteen thousand employees who "coordinate" our nation's intelligence and response to crises. It must mean that our government thinks we are all a bunch of idiots, Jack.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  80. sandy in ohio

    Jack, It means that some in Washington still want to do business as usual. Why not put Homeland Security in some empty building that all ready exists. They could put it in one of the empty factories or super stores in Ohio, we aren't that far from Washington and it would be good for the economy here.How about the DHL complex in Wilmington, Ohio? It has it's own airport and everything, including great roads all ready paid for by the taxpayers.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  81. Judy

    Let me guess, does that tool Chertoff have anything to do with this?

    January 9, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  82. mitchell, arkansas

    it means the people have no say in what gubment decides to do. our democracy is in serious need of a makeover.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  83. Darern

    They've been a failure since Bush created them, they don't need a new builidijng at taxpayer expense, we need to eliminate useless departments.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  84. Jay in Texas

    It means the American people are content to allow gross mis-spending of our money to continue. We should have thrown these big spenders out of office in the last two elections but what did we do? We elected one of them president.
    Brownwood, Texas

    January 9, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  85. Robert in Galveston

    These folks must be from Houston, up the road if they find a old building that is historic they tear it down to build another shopping center (that remains empty). Homeland insecurity should move into all the empty stores in this country, at least it would help the landlords.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  86. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    It means they need the psychiatric ward for themselves alot more than we need another war building. Put Nat. Security in the Pentagon. There is room there. And put Congress in straitjackets!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  87. Pat,Clearwater Florida

    This will match the large embassy constructed in Irac by our friend
    and enemy of our livelyhoods and the economy. Mr BUSH
    Let's make sure labor is not outsourced like the former head
    of Ebay who wants to be Governor(just another bottom feeder)

    January 9, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  88. Marjorie Lominy

    I guess you can say it's the Intelligence world own stimulus package.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  89. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    Nice of the Bush administration to tell Al Qaida where it is putting all the Homeland Security. Will the site plan be laid out in the form of a bullseye?

    General Doolittle is spinning in his grave. His argument against aircraft carriers has still not been learned though we commemorate December 7th every year. Bin Laden is going to miss old G.W.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  90. Deb- OK

    It beans once again the people in Washington are IDIOTS. Total arrogance and oblivion to what is the real world. Dont't forget the 485,000.00 China. It doesn't matter who pays for it. What matters is the total lack of what is important. Jobs are lost, people losing homes, etc. What the hell are these people thinking?

    January 9, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  91. Mickie

    Oh please tell me this will not be approved. If Congress has not yet approved it, who initiated this? I am so sick of politicians spending, spending, spending, executive bathrooms, panaramic offices, and on and on and on while they tell us to tighten our belts and still give money to banks, businesses, etc. (WITH NO STRINGS). Every penny I get from the government (i.e. tax refund) has to be documented and still I can get audited. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  92. Barb from Hazel Crest, IL

    It means that people in construction, electricians, electronics, and other materials that the building need will be working. It is also a good time to introduce alternate energy into a building. The agency will become more efficient because all of the workers will be housed in one location. I think that efficiency in this department is crucial because it is protecting American homeland.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  93. vern-t anaheim,ca

    president elect obama has vowed to slash federal spending and he can begin by urging congress not to give funds for this project during these critical economic times.m aybe it would be useful to have this built on the grounds of a psych iatric hospital because some of the policies coming from the dept of homeland security are insane and idiotic

    January 9, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  94. Gigi

    Home land security, means protecting us from what? its our own country that is hurting us. And pray what do we clothes, house and feed our families until 2016 to apply for one of 26,000jobs. Today my grand son is one, of how many laid off, due to the auto industry failure.
    what does the home land security advice him to do? Maybe we should consider how to get people jobs first.

    It means to me that our government is playing games rather than working for the good of the country. Maybe if they didn't get a fat paycheck, benefits and health care they could get more done.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  95. CJ in Atlanta, GA

    It will be major infrastructure projects like this that actually create jobs. We, as Americans, will have more to show for the $3.4 billion spent on this project than we will for the hundreds of billions given to Wall Street. I feel that further infrastructure projects such roads, dams, mass transit, and energy will put able and willing Americans back to work and will have a positive ripple effect in the economy.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  96. Dave in Saint Louis,MO

    It means no matter how bad people want to forget 9/11 did happen!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  97. JW in Atlanta

    If this were a dam, a road, a solar array, something that would contribute to economics I'd be for it. But this is just another federal building that will require heavy maintenance and upkeep at taxpayer expense for the next hundred years. The only thing it MEANS is that we just don't get it.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  98. Larry W

    Remember all those jobs that got outsourced ?

    Now we are paying the piper!

    I can assure you it will take ten times longer to rebuild the economy than it took to move it offshore!

    This is the "giant sucking sound" Ross Perot warned about –

    Our money being sucked right out of our pockets!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  99. Adesanya

    Jack , there is nothing any body in the both house and the president-elect can do for the first four year about the economy, because Bush family is good at leaving office with bad economy, and it take Bill clinton eight year to do any thing about it

    Brooklyn Park,MN

    January 9, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  100. Robert

    Robert of Denver

    You know!!!! Beats me

    January 9, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  101. David


    January 9, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  102. Joe in DE

    We are wasting money – should have used it on the fence.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  103. KarenB, Florida

    they don't need it. more money thrown to the wind. make do with what they have. the whole Homeland Security thing is joke anyway.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  104. Sherri in Illinois

    It means the Bush Administration cares less about what is going on with the people on earth in particular America!!!!. Those folks are in a different sphere Jack! Look at the guy in the Interior dept that spent $265.000 to upgrade his private office bathroom to include a 2 big screen TVs. And look at the waste in Iraq with $600 BILLION spent over there including $80 BILLION that mysteriously is unaccounted for!!!!. Hopefully this Bush Administration spending spree will STOP under the Obama Administration.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  105. John

    Jack: It means they are paying a government contractors about $680 million dollars to much, but maybe it might create jobs in construction. The government always pays about 20% to build anything even an outhouse. GAO will not speak until the complex is built by which time it will be to late to do anything about cost over runs.


    January 9, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  106. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    George Orwell was only 25 years off in his prediction of a totalitarian police state. When will America wake up to the fact that government is no longer looking out for the citizens.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  107. James in TN

    Just another thing that their doing to put off fixing our economy. They can build billion dollar buildings but can't give struggling families help. And just think, these same folks will get reelected in 2010, it never ends.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  108. Jackie in Dallas

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    While I see this as an opportunity to put people to work, I feel that it is wrong to spend this money now. There are millions of square feet of unoccupied, already built space that could be modified to handle the Homeland Security needs.

    I’m actually still not totally sold on the fact that we need Homeland Security — I’ve always thought that the jobs they are supposed to do are things that were in the original mandate for the FBI and the CIA. Perhaps they could settle into leased space for now and save us taxpayers a couple of billion dollars in a time when we should be counting and recounting every dollar that goes out the door, and while the new administration does a thorough evaluation of just what they’ve done since inception, how much it has cost us, and whether we should continue to fund them at all.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  109. Jim, from Las Vegas

    This is a total waste of money. For that matter, DHS itself is a total waste. Nothing conjures up images of Big Brother more than how DHS came into being and brought everything into its realm. You could probably cut our budget deficet by at least 20% by getting rid of aggragates like DHS that serve no useful purpose other than provide more pork jobs.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  110. Ralph Nelson

    It means economic stimulus to the economy and is a good idea if it is truly needed. This is not a time to cut government spending on wise and worthy projects. Fight recession! Spend! Spend! Spend! Build it! Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  111. Ken in NC

    Well Jack, It will be located next to the first federal psychiatric institution where there is a ready source for workers and also transportation cost to the facility for treatment from DHS should be kept to a minimum.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  112. Karl from SF, CA

    I know this sounds dumb, but what are we paying now to house them wherever they are located and if it's in several locations, how efficient is that? Yes, it's a lot of money, but it will create jobs. It isn’t being built in a vacuum. Infrastructure, remember? Mental hospital is an appropriate place after the way they reacted to Katrina.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  113. Bill Tucson AZ

    It means that this government will spend whatever they want to house another over budgeted and under performing government agency while sitting back and watching millions of homeowners pushed out of their homes. How can this congress justify displacing families and at the same time building a new home for overpaid bureaucrats at a time when the deficit is skyrocketing. Spend the $3.4 billion on a new prison to house all the corrupt and crooked politians and bureaucrats.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  114. Tim

    It means that Congress doesn't 'get it'. The government needs to spend money and spend it big time, but only on necessities and things that can be considered investments - that is only those things that will eventually save us more than what's being spent, or projects that will really produce long-term production and employment.
    Tim in Texas

    January 9, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  115. Julie - Elizabethtown, Kentucky

    Like Obama said, we need to go through the budget line by line. We need to get rid of what we don't need and what doesn't work. I say this is one that we don't need.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  116. David Rench- Union City MI

    It means our government has no sense of fiscal responsibility, but that was obvious long before this project.

    Dave-Union City, MI

    January 9, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  117. Terry in Fayetteville, NC

    It means members of congress are too well paid and too poorly taxed. Can we hold a special election to get rid of a few more of them?

    January 9, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  118. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    It means it's government ripping us off as usual. Sickening.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  119. Waltie in Mass

    It means that the American People, are not doing there homework on the people we elect to office. Any of them who can vote for this at this point in time, should be flogged, tarred and feathered.

    OH... When do they vote themselves another raise? Isn't it time for that?????

    January 9, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  120. Ly in Salina, KS

    Sounds like Chertoffs dual personality is showing through his skeletor looking face. Wonder who he'll staff to clean it..

    January 9, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  121. Greg, Ontario

    Do the math Jack. That's 26000 people getting paid 1.3 million over 8 years. Who is going to get the money? Where are you going to get the money? How is it going to get paid back and when? My god I sound like a reporter but you guys just aren't asking the right questions anymore.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  122. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    I would recomend that the department instead build their headquarters in either New Orleans, (the 9th ward is a reasonable thought), or the Texas coast (Galveston maybe).....

    January 9, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  123. David Richards

    It means we're still not done wasting money on the most useless department in the federal government.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  124. Nick; PA

    What it means, Jack, is the Feds are maintaining their streak of progressively losing rather large chunks from that slab of fat and sugar cells between their ears

    January 9, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  125. Daniel, Indiana

    It is proof that our politicians view themselves as ultra important and that they really are elitists. We left the aristocracy behind when we fought the Revolution.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  126. D. W. Shoultz

    If the congress & senate and Obama want to trim the federal budget, why don't the cut some of the trillions that is being sent to foreign countries that don't really benefit us.....

    DW in Iniana

    January 9, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  127. Miles in Allentown

    This is a good public works project. It will put construction workers back to work, stimulate production of electrical supplies, plumbing supplies, office furniture and other ancillary products. I'm not sure I agree with the purpose of the project but the poor economy argument is spurious.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  128. Tony from Torrington

    If ONE PERCENT of the PORK that we taxpayers pay for were redirected to this HOMELAND SECURITY building, it would make more sense. Unless of course there are those who don't believe we should secure the Homeland.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:35 pm |

    It means that we don't need Homeland Security or a place to house it. It is just another expense that Bush and buddies have created. Maybe they need to turn it into a Mental Institution and lock up all involved in wanting Homeland Security.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  130. Mike CA

    Why not use some of the closed government facilities.
    I am sure that there is an abundance of space at these facilities.
    To be a wiseguy how about all those empty trailers that Homeland Security has.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:36 pm |

    Since this was not part of any "stimulus package", I have to assume that it is just another case of misplaced priorities. Government spending seems to be the solution du jour, but it should be on things that benefit everyone. It's our money after all.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  132. Jake, Oregon

    Fine, Just don't let it be named the Chertoff building. Too bad they couldn't build it in Louisiana.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  133. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    It means that Washington is out of touch with main street! No surprise there! Maybe they can house some of the victims of Katrina in it when it gets done!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  134. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    It means we need to find a better way to create 26,000 jobs. We should be finding ways to cut bureaucracy not create monuments to it. Now, if you told me we were gonna spend $3.4 billion to rebuild the first federal psychiatric institution, I'd say you probably need to build it bigger for congressional patients alone. And let's throw a few bankers in there for good measure. Has everyone gone mad!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  135. Bill Tucson AZ

    Jack, The interstate and highway system is crumbling. The electric power supply system and grid is woefully inadequate to provide reliable power to the country. Damns and levees throughout the nation are at an age where they need repairs and upgrades. Fuel prices are sure to go up as soon as this economic crisis passes. Spend the $3.4 billion on solving these problems and put many more times the number of people back to work.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  136. connie, Richmond, VA

    Jack, I'm sure this contract, like many, was already awarded to Bush friends and is in the pipeline. This is unfortunate for us and PE Obama. Even when Obama is sworn in he can't break a legal contract.

    That mental hospital land should have been saved to house people who raise stupid, non-issues such as Wolf trying to insinuate a turf war between HRC and VP Elect Biden. HRC is not the SOS yet; Biden is still the foreign policy expert and senator on an intellignece trip , as a senator. It's not for Wolf to wonder why; he doesn't know the top security information so he needs to be quiet.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  137. David, Tampa, Fl

    How fitting this bunch will be in an insane asylum which is where we get our political and economic leadership.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  138. johnchristopher

    Hello! The Corporate Criminals need another bunker. It means that the Industrial Military complex and the banking cartels (Federal Reserve) are running the country and everything is going according to plan. They have carefully and calculatedly destroyed the United States of America through the culture of greed and corruption. They expect social unrest and riots and will declare marshall law and ... in no time American soldiers will be redeployed to the streets of New York, Los Angeles etc. Who in hell needs international terrorists? The Evil Empire is right under our nose. Wake Up People.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  139. Jasmine in Germany

    It means that Washington hasn't changed its way of thinking...yet.

    What don't they find a location in an impoverished part of town to improve that area? And hopefully the building will use renewable energy sources so that IT will become historic.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  140. Paula in Albuquerque

    If Obama gets wind of it, it won't get off the ground...

    January 9, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  141. ron in ohio

    That's all we need, is another big old target next to the Pentagon and White House. Just one more target for the terrorists to plan to blow up or fly a plane into. It's hard to protect what we have right now. What happened to all those roads and bridges for the rest of us. And if they do start to build this thing, I don't think we can afford to wait until 2016, or beyond to complete it. Without immediate jobs, we will be entering the new Great Depression, and we will be referring to the old great depression as the Great, Great Depression.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  142. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    Once upon a time there was a bridge to nowhere . . .

    January 9, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  143. david doherty

    Let me guess Jack, too save money they use illegal ailens for the construction. Ya know the ones that slipped under their fences.

    Dave from NH.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  144. Laurieann Petker-Huffman Willits, CA

    It means that they are still wasting money on a historic site that should be used for something else if anything at all. This for a department that I don't feel is doing their jobs properly anyway. They waste money, lock up border patrol doing their job. The jobs are a good thing however they should be building giant buildings for housing for the low income, which frankly will put millions to work, because everyone is going to low income so we need a lot of building in all states. Rebuilding our schools would be good too, not to mention roads and all other necessaries. And, leave the government out of historic sites unless they are historic in government.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  145. George

    In respon to your question, "What will you ask Sarah Palin?", Ms/Gov. Palin, can you please be quiet and stop causing issues for yourself by constantly being in the news media. It gets annoying when continue to nagg about issues that you should already put behnid you.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  146. Barbara Middletown, NY

    Jack, it means that there are more people in Congress that shouldn't be re-elected. We have to have some of the dumbest people in the country serving in Congress. They're plan to expand a department that has performed abysmally until this point. They just don't get it. Aaahhhhhh!!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  147. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    It means jobs, Ii twill be our building,so build baby build. Our economy is driven by what we the government spend. It is, and has always been that way. Since WW2 the marketplace has prospered by trillions from our tax dollars spent on programs and the trillions we have borrowed to also pay for them. No private business would have brought us to the heights of economic prosperity without those dollars. Government entitlements, plush military contracts, and all the services throughout the country laced with pork, have filled the coffers of what is called private enterprise. But alas all good things come to an end.


    January 9, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  148. Eric Bracke, Fort Collins, CO

    It means only one thing, Jack, the Federal government is out of touch with the American people.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  149. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    It will be our building so build baby build.Our economy is driven by what we the government spends. It is and has always been that way. The marketplace has prospered by trillions from our tax dollars spent on programs and the trillions we have borrowed to also pay for them. No private business would have brought us to the heights of economic prosperity without those dollars. Government entitlements, plush military contracts, and all the services throughout the country laced with pork, have filled the coffers of what is called private enterprise. .

    January 9, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  150. Mike in St. Pete Beach, Florida

    So you mean the government can waste billions of dollars AND destroy an historic landmark? Now THAT'S reaching-across-the-aisle government efficiency.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  151. Karyn

    that means – as usual – the government will spend billions on a NEW building...instead of using (for the time being) using the building that is there...

    and we – private citizens – are considered 'impractical and irresponsible.....'...........

    January 9, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  152. Wally Ruehmann las vegas nv

    they just don't get it, i bet they want marble floors, 10,000.00 $ toilets ect,ect a billion dollars means nothing to these clowns after all it doesn't come out of there pockets. my grandkids don't stand a chance.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  153. Eron.V

    Another homeland security scam. Who's in charge this time Oboma, Bush. I guess the American tax payers should assume position once again.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  154. Ben in Michigan

    Although this might be bad for PR, this is necessary. I suppose if we are willing to dish out close to a trillion dollars to aid the economy, it won't hurt too much to tack on another three and a half billion to house the means of protecting our country.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  155. D. Texas

    Wasted MONEY^

    January 9, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  156. hugh ~ tracy, california

    With our failing economy at a record $10 trillion dollars in debt and rising, what's wrong with spending a measly $3.4 billion? Small potatoes! Jack, the federal reserve will just keep printing money that we don't have anyway. If our government needed to reapply for a credit card it would have been cancelled already!

    January 9, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  157. Robert in Louisville, Kentucky

    A project this size coming at this time can only mean one thing. The Republicans still are paying some of their contractor friends while they have a voice in Washington. The silly spending in Iraq is about to come to a halt too, but by then all the fat cats will have gotten all they could while the getting was good.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  158. Nass from Florida

    It means that even though CEOs are trying to make up for the losses in their huge salaries by cutting the common worker, they can't and so they turn to the government once again to keep their yachts, sports cars, private jets, new annual house... well, you got the point.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  159. Norman Hayward

    It seems to me that people in the media are contributing to our economic problems by constantly dwelling on the negative.
    Barack Obama has dwelt on the positive and that's the way that we are going to work our way out of this recession.
    If you think that you can't, you won't. I suggest that you add to the solution instead of the problem by showing support of our new president and his ideas and offer some positive remarks to your reports.


    January 9, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  160. Annie Kraft Naples FL

    it means that the american taxpayer is screwed...once again...corporate greed rules.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  161. Danni

    Can you say EARMARK????

    Upland Ca

    January 9, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  162. Jeffrey Cohen from LA, California

    It means that congressional leaders would care more about the welfare of homeland security officials instead of average American citizens.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  163. John from collinsville, Illinois

    Jack it seems Home Land Security has a whole different meaning if it is helping!

    January 9, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  164. Ralph

    The real question is why you would put all of our homeland security people in one place? Isn't this an invitation for attack?

    January 9, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  165. james in NYC

    Isn't this exactly the sort of thing the stimulus was meant to include? A federal building is part of the civil service infrastructure. Under FDR, the WPA built thousands of public buildings we're still using, and kept the people working who built them. The Homeland Security Department will need a headquarters sometime anyway, and sooner is better than later. And if it's going to house all the employees now parked at other agencies, and be secure, it's going to have to be expensive.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  166. Al

    As if we needed any further proof . . . OUT OF CONTROL.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  167. Ian

    Two words: Keynesian Economics. Or four: counter cyclical demand management.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  168. Rebecca

    Good! Construction jobs CANNOT be outsourced.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  169. Karol

    Jack, it means efficiency in government. Now that is a novel idea. It makes much more sense to have all the employees in one building than scattered all over Washington. It also means JOBS and that is a number one priority now.

    Scottsdale, AZ

    January 9, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  170. Ryan (Toronto)

    It should be converted into a prison for corrupt politicians. It won't because there couldn't possibly be corruption in America's perfect democracy.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  171. Mark K

    It means that the economic downfall is at least partially created by hype or that the federal government has their heads up their collective butts.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  172. Constance

    If it is built ,it should be in the middle of America so they would get better in touch with the REAL America,instead of that isolated place on the east coast.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  173. Gerald

    Jack, that is robbing Peter to pay Paul

    January 9, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  174. Roxane in Hancock, MN

    It means that Congress really doesn't get that we are in a recession and the budget is in the red big time. i think they had better rethink this one.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  175. Kristen - Mackinaw, IL

    I'm totally in favor of the Dept. of Homeland Security being better organized...it seems like it would be pretty hard to work together, effectively, when the employees are scattered about all over the place.

    However, I find it a little hard to believe that there's not unused space in existing buildings in D.C. There's one building that I think we'd all agree could be better occupied and that's the IRS building. How about eliminating that department in an effort to create more space for others? 🙂

    January 9, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  176. eric y.

    If it will produce 26,000 tax paying jobs it sounds like a good idea to me..This is what Mr. Obama wnats to do,bulid to create more jobs.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  177. Ryan G., Quincy, MA

    It means that martial law is coming and Americans must fight to preserve their civil rights. Restore the Republic!

    January 9, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  178. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    It means that common sense and logic remains a foreign concept to those that dwell in the insular world of politics. Whoever is stupid enough to put forth, or support such a project, needs electroconvulsive therapy.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  179. Jon Stuart ( not the comedian)

    Well what it means is that the government can subsidize land they deem fit for construction of a building we neither need nor have the money to spend for. Why dont they take the money out of the stimulus package, which they still do not know where 350 billion dollars went.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  180. Ron Ouellette

    It means INCOMPETENCY at the planning level at its best. Whoever
    came up with this idea needs to have their brains REDACTED. We
    need another site with Federal Buildings like we need another hole
    in our heads. Use that 3.4B dollars to repair and rehab other government buildings who need it, that will keep the 26,000 Americans working and improve what we already have in existence.
    Ron – Florida

    January 9, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  181. Jeff Crocket

    It means our government is out of control.

    "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. "

    Thomas Jefferson

    January 9, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  182. Kay, O'Brien, OR

    What does it mean that a $3.4 billion federal construction project can get approved during an economic crisis?

    It means that the members of Congress hasn't learned anything and we the voters certainly haven't for seating them in Congress. Jack, what do we need an expensive, useless, bungling Homeland Security for, anyway. If Obama asked the citizenry to use due diligence, I'm sure most of us would.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  183. Eddy

    3.4B Hah! It'll get approved no matter the economy but add another billion once all the palms are greased!

    January 9, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  184. davem

    what it means is that the Fed Res "Bank' can endlessly produce money out of thin air, backed by nothing more than debt.
    Too bad they can't produce wealth; that job is handled by the working class the bankster elite feed from.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  185. Brian Piggott

    If anyone thinks this project will cost only $3.4 billion needs to reserve a room at St Elizabeth's right now.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  186. Craig

    Homeland Security is first and foremost redundancies of redundancy. Its principle guidance is to give income to the neo-con fetters of fear and loathing. A $3.4 billion federal construction project? BS.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  187. jim Handy

    It just means more of the same irresponsibility by the government spending OUR money. We wouldn't need at abuilding that expensive on that much ground even if the economy was good.

    Inglewood Calif.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  188. Frederic Schultz, Esq.

    My main concern would be creating a new target for terrorists. If you have "homeland security" offices, they should be hidden and impossible to locate. That is the definition of security. Telling your enemies where you are is just blowing your cover. A dangerous idea, for all of us, that should be stopped while we still can.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  189. Al /Orlando/via Buffalo

    Jack. Maybe we could sub the somali pirates for our congress and
    get them to parachute the money for this welfare project. Al

    January 9, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  190. 2g4

    Jack forget all this for now..when obama gets in there we hope he ratify the problem...but the real issue is you and wolf should get in a dance competetion. Wolf's gat game!! and he is officially my home boy!! or should i say WOLF GOT SWAG

    January 9, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  191. Katherine

    Well, since we have no problem throwing away trillions on bail-outs (which haven't seemed to be helping at all) then what's the harm on using the money for something that will protects our nation's capitol?

    January 9, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  192. Jim Stones NY

    The government is making a bold statement by saying: "Hey where gonna spend our money the way we want." And indeed thats what they have been doing for the past 8 years. The only problem is that they are spending the money on bureaucracies that are dysfunctional.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  193. Rita Dunmon

    Sounds like someone is trying to get a lot of crazy people back to work as soon as possible up there in that area. However, I still think if the government would split all that "bail out" money amoung the hard working american people then all the mortgage banks, car dealers, grocery stores, retail stores, etc. would get a piece of the it and no one would wonder where it all went.
    Rita, Oglethorpe, GA

    January 9, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  194. Bill, Miami, FL


    It means that a badly needed government project can be utilized to create jobs and help the economy...if... it's done efficiently, within budget, and on time. Homeland Security is a difficult enough department to run without being spread out all around the Washington area.

    If people want to see a historic mental hospital, they can drive down to Williamsburg, VA where one exists. They don't need St. Elizabeth's.


    Miami, FL

    January 9, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  195. Dave

    It means that our country's ability to ignore reality is impossible to overestimate. The DHS has been an expensive joke since day one. It has managed to put money into the pockets of Republican friendly private contractors, and has kept that imbecile Chertoff employed. Their whole purpose has been to lend credence to the Bush administration's desire to govern by generating needless fear. Shut the whole department down.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  196. Molita in Austin, TX

    What does it mean? The our government is totally corrupt without any accountability & the taxpayers are like sheep paying for it all. American's need to "get mad as hell & not take it any more"!

    January 9, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  197. tom

    what a joke!!!! if on paper it cost 3.6 billion then the true cost will be 8 billion. remember the visitor center? all this money stuck into washington dc means somebodys friend or company is getting the contracts. if obama passes this he is as bad the rest of the clowns in washington and all his talk are lies!!!!!!

    January 9, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  198. rick J

    By building this complex will create jobs that I am sure american don't want. So they will hire Illegals to do the job, like always just like the boarder fence. Just think what good we are doing for the econemy. I mean the econemy south of the boarder.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  199. Jim Nolan

    It means that a lot of goernment officials just don't get it! Dirk Kempthorne just had his Interior Department bathroom remodeled for about $235,000, but that includes the refrigerator and freezer.

    Boise, ID

    January 9, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  200. Vance McFarland

    Jack–regarding the 5 PM $3.4B Construction project in a Recession–all us Irish can say is Boston-Remember the Big Dig and The Midnight Ride of Paul ReFear. Here we go again?


    January 9, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  201. Roy Gimps

    Well what this suggest is that a precedent will be followed in the future for future bureaucracies to be built on historical land. Have we no respect for our past. indeed the only way to know where we are going is to see where we've been

    January 9, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  202. kitsboy

    If it creates jobs I'm all for it.

    Nice to finally see some American growth instead of watching all these big businesses scrambling for their pie of the bailout only to employ workers from over seas. The problem isn't so much spending within the US, it's all the money going off shore taking YOUR JOBS! What do we make besides KFC? Even GM's plan was to make cars in Mexico.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  203. Eddy - Hoschton, GA

    Spend, spend, spend. Print it and they will spend it.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  204. George Arp

    Jack, Our Congress does as it pleases! They are going to have their day at the slop trough. The American People should keep a closer eye on all the waste Congress slips by every year. America is headed a lot deeper into this economic crisis than anyone can imagine, Wake Up America!!

    January 9, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  205. Richard

    I'll ask a question of my own: Is the new Homeland Security headquarters another opportunity for the current administration to build yet another governmental "Taj Mahal," or is it the last chance for contractors well connected with the Bush administration to cash in?

    Here's a money-saving thought; build H.S.'s executive offices out of the trailers taken back from Katrina victims. After all, the outgassing particle board that was good enough for them is good enough for this department's failed management.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  206. Joe


    It means our representatives in government, have made another symbolic example of their selfish interests. Perhaps there will be a few looney-bins for a few prime candidates? I think we genuinely have many other serious interests that the money can be used for, but then again, we have leaders who are out of touch with the circumstances of real people.

    Joe , Binghamton, NY

    January 9, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  207. Tom from Philly

    wait .. 3.4 Billion? i thought u said 3.4Trillion, jack who counts pennies anymore

    January 9, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  208. Mike in Minnesota

    Approval of the HomelLand Security building project means only one thing......

    There are politicians in Washington that still don't "get it".

    And there is a simple solution to the office problems the Department of Home Land Security has.....

    Get rid of the Department of Homeland Security.....We didn't need it to defeat Russia and China.... and 5 years later we still don't....

    At a time when we can least afford it.... we are paying millions of dollars to a Federal organization that we didn't need and isn't effective doing the job they are being paid to do?

    January 9, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  209. Pat

    What do you expect in a nation where New York taxpayer money went to a Woodstock museum last year and where the Yankees felt it in their best interest to spend 160 million on Cici Sabathia to throw a ball over a plate.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  210. Zach

    It means that, our government is confident enough about the stimulus package, and they should be. 700 billion is enough. Let them do the project. It's better to spend at least a little money on something useful rather than pouring it out to whoever decides to ask like they've been doing.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  211. Don Mississauga

    It's not the economic crisis that should concern you here, it's the whole concept the USA has adopted to homeland security. I would point out you have had more deaths in Iraq and in the process have participated in the death of tens and tens of thousands of innocent people. You have lost respect for your country around the world,as based on what you say and not on what you do, you don't seem to stand on any moral ground. The freedom and openness that was the USA was something to marvel at and cherish and that will lie buried in the foundation of the new building designed as the headquarters of the department of homeland security. .

    January 9, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  212. Jody Poston

    Why should we (Citizens) give them anything after their BUNGLED 2005 KATRINIA MESS (still BAD in 2008) as a REWARD for their BOONDOGGLES... BUT this is typical for the BUSH adminstration... ISNT...

    January 9, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  213. Rick (Los Angeles)

    It’s just another example of wasteful DC spending. And to see Senator Pelosi hold up her hand and promise not to spend more money on ear marks makes my case. I recommend CNN stop talking to Washington and start taking your program directly to the public. All you need to do is just take your program to the streets of Atlanta. Ask them, should the feds spend 3.4 Billion to house an existing federal agency. The typical response will be, “Are You Serious”…???

    January 9, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  214. AJ, Potsdam, NY


    How about eliminating the Department of Fatherland Sekurity [sic] altogether. Not only would we save billions in an unneeded new Washington edifice, but also in all the salaries of the guardians of the Bush-Cheney-Haliburton-Blackwater secret government.

    The FBI, CIA, Treasury Department and their affiliates can then be restored to their rightful places as our country's federal law enforcement agencies. (Repealing The so-called "Patriot" Act would cement the deal, restoring to us citizens our personal freedoms and privacies that were stripped away by this neo-Fascist legislation.)

    Oh yeah, an added bonus would be the restoration of the Constitution to its rightful place as our nation's supreme instruction manual and law.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  215. Barry in TN

    If the government wants it, they'll probably get it. They want everybody to cut back but, they're not even going to try to cut back on the administrative cost that's involved with government. They pat each other on the back saying what a great job their doing, so why is the country in the shape it's in?

    January 9, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  216. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    Is that 3.4 "billion" with a "B" Jack? Whew, for a second there, I thought we were talking big money.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  217. Jerry - Toronto, Canada

    When you give a simple task to a goverment official, he will no doubt find a way to complicate it, it's pretty much always the way. So, should they get the go ahead, that $3.4 billion will end up tripling and the finished product will need repairs by the end of its first year (probably costing another $3.4billion). That's what it means. I'd rather they spend the money repairing the nations infrastructure then giving HLS a room with a view.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  218. LA

    Jack: The DHS should have the General Services Administration (GSA) lease them the property (and space) they require until the economy improves. People will still acquire work because any leased space will require renovation especially considering the size of space required. $3.4B...?


    January 9, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  219. Don

    I understand that the President-elect's cabinet is going to review government programs that are no longer effective. The space occupied by those programs should be review for the Homeland Security programs thus saving the taxpayers construction costs and having better utilization of current space.

    A large cut in spending could occur if Congress sold the jet used by the Speaker thus eliminating the cost of fuel back and forth to Calif weekly. She should take note of the Junior Congressman who is using his office space to cut his expenses.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  220. Annie, Atlanta

    Jack, I would pay a lot of money (if I had it) to see you "get your groove on" with Ellen DeGeneres. As far as the DHS, if Chertoff were still going to be the chief, the grounds of the nuthouse would probably be appropriate. Since not, no way! What are they thinking?

    January 9, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  221. Aravind Suershbabu

    It could mean that the government is deaf to its own critizism. They are slamming the Obama plan but want new sites for themselves. But on the other hand Homeland officals can't be every where in a dire situation and the project can create jobs The price though at a time like this is just to high. The timing is not right. We have more important things to invet in now. We need to invest in inffrastucture. Get our tropps out of Iraq and into Afganistan. We need to lower health care rates get all americans coverage and better coverage.We need new watch on federal spendind and lower the federal bugjet.Though homeland scuraty it important like national. We simply can not invest in a project like this. It is like that list of projects from the nations mayors. Now is not the time


    January 9, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  222. CindyR

    This will not provide the best use of tax dollars for providing Homeland Security. We need boots on the ground, more police and fireman not less. With the current crisis in communities around the country the funds would be better spent putting boots on the ground. More patrols on the border, more inspectors at our docks, more police and more fireman on the streets.

    This just shows how wrong our Congress has been and why the American public voted for change. I just wish the Congress would turn up their hearing aids so they could get the message. This weeks news on them has not given me hope, only reinforced in my mind that we should have voted them all out, Republican and Democrate alike.

    You know Congress screamed at the big three auto executives and CEO's from Wall Street for mismanagment. The old saying don't throw stones when you live in a glass building, comes to mind. They certainlly do not deserve a raise or deserved to be rehired by any means in my mind, this just enforces that thought.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  223. Jan Tucson AZ

    Well, what will be next? We haven't even heard about the new raise that the congress has given themselves. We got 2.8 percent, wonder what theirs will be. I think that the Home Land Security should have been attatched to the Coast Guard instead of creating this huge Home Land Security which can't do any thing as we here in Arizona see they just keep taking the iligals back to Mexico daily in the big Prevost Bus, which I wish we could afford for our self to travel. Lets hope that our new president will do some good which I'm sure he will if he can get support from those jokers in congress.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  224. Charles from NJ

    A least with construction projects there are jobs. Obama will propose many other construction projects mostly in infrastructure.

    This is better than the money spent on Chrysler. That 4 Billion is history !!

    January 9, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  225. Rod, Council Grove,Kansas

    Jack, it is very evident that the only pocket this will pad is the congressman and their overpaid egos. The unemployed might as well apply to print money as the govt will never shut those printing presses down.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  226. Kyle- DuPont, WA

    It means more jobs have been created for D.C. Sounds like a plan.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  227. earle,florida

    I'll bet a dollar to the donut that their will be only enough suites for the cowardly,"House of Rep's& Senate&President" in this cement bunker?

    January 9, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  228. Ron M.

    All i have to say is "How much to I have to pay?" The government wants the people to send them money. Anything for safety right? Just taking advantage of the people.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  229. Do as I say Not as I do.

    What it means is that while the government is chastising the financial sector and the auto industry about thier poor managment, they continue to mismanage our tax dollars.

    January 9, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  230. ODD OWL

    No, The Dept. of Homeland Security was created as part of the Bush-Cheney Admin. fear campaign... America don't need a Dept. of Homeland Security... The Country is safe and secure under the governance of the Democrats... ODDOWL

    January 9, 2009 at 5:47 pm |