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You Can’t Leave! DC Delegate Works To Block Gov’t Office Relocation

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With its high traffic volume, high rents, and high cost of living you would think it might be a boon to move some federal offices out of the DC area. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) not only wants them to stay, but also wants to make it illegal for federal offices to leave the DC area without Congressional approval.

WJLA reports

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been working with the General Services Administration (GSA) to find leased space in Kansas City for the two divisions. This means close to 600 jobs would leave the District.

The agency believes it would save nearly $300 million over a 15-year lease.

“Following a rigorous site selection process, the Kansas City Region provides a win-win – maximizing our mission function by putting taxpayer savings into programmatic outputs and providing affordability, easy commutes, and extraordinary living for our employees,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in a June press release.

Initially, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton used an amendment in an effort to block that relocation, now she wants to make it a law to prevent government offices from relocating without lawmaker approval. 

Norton is to introduce a bill this week to prohibit the relocation of any federal department or agency headquarters outside of the DC area without congressional approval.

In a press release Norton says, “I have already gotten some language in appropriations bills to deter politically motivated moves outside the nation’s capital.  These unprecedented moves are not about saving taxpayer money and usually have origins in inaccurate political talking points.”

In an effort to further Norton’s efforts, the Committee on Natural Resources is allowing her to sit in to hear testimony and ask questions Tuesday at a hearing on The Department of Interior’s plan to relocate the Bureau of Land Management to Colorado.

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