WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Bill Johnson is sponsoring a bill requiring federal agency headquarters to move out of the Washington, DC, area and move closer to those most affected by agency decisions.
Previous efforts to take similar action have failed, and the relocation of parts of some federal agencies in recent years outside the DC area has failed.
The Agency Strategic Withdrawal for Meaningful Placement Act aims to spread agency headquarters across the country to help those most affected by their decisions while bringing good, stable jobs to other parts of the United States, said Johnson, R-Marietta.
“Washington, DC’s swamp culture isolates career bureaucrats and political elites from the American people who pay their salaries,” says Johnson. “It’s this complete lack of empathy for the plight of the average American family and small business owner that keeps the swamp alive and growing.”
Johnson said it’s “It is time to allow other cities, if they wish, to house federal government agencies to ensure that isolated, unelected career bureaucrats can begin to live among the people they have hired. to serve and better understand them. It’s time to drain the swamp.
Johnson is sponsoring the bill in the House with U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Iowa, sponsoring it in the Senate.
The proposal creates a competitive bidding process that allows states and communities to compete for an agency’s new headquarters.
About 350,000 federal workers are based in the Washington, DC area.
Bills like this have been sponsored for years in Congress without success.
U.S. Representative Tim Ryan, D-Howland, introduced legislation in 2017, 2019 and 2021 to create a commission that would study the relocation of federal agencies from the Washington, DC area.
In 2021, Ryan’s proposal received Republican sponsorship from U.S. Representatives Dave Joyce of Bainbridge, who currently represents part of Trumbull County, and Anthony Gonzalez of Rocky River.
The bills sought to establish a bipartisan commission within the General Services Administration to provide a blueprint to Congress recommending the relocation of government agencies with priority in low-income communities and areas with mission expertise. and agency goals.
In 2019, U.S. Senators Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, and Marsha Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee, introduced a bill to move 90% of positions in 10 cabinet departments out of the DC area.
In 2017, then-U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz, a Republican from Utah, proposed a resolution to express congressional support for moving federal agencies from the nation’s capital.
Uninvited by a congressional bill, the US Department of Agriculture in October 2019 moved 550 jobs from two of its main research offices from DC to Kansas City, Missouri.
According to the Federal News Network, a website that covers federal employee news, most of its workforce from Washington, DC, has not moved and the department continues to struggle to fill positions.
In August 2020, the United States Department of the Interior moved the national headquarters of its Bureau of Land Management to Grand Junction, Colorado.
He announced last September that he was restoring the office’s national headquarters to Washington, D.C., but retaining the office in Grand Junction. Over 95% of office employees are already located outside of DC
In September, the Home Office said the move “failed to deliver promised jobs across the West and drove hundreds from the agency. Of the 328 positions that left Washington, D.C., only 41 of those affected moved and three moved in Grand Junction, resulting in a significant loss of institutional memory and talent.