INTRODUCTION OF A BILL TO REQUIRE THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT TO REMAIN IN THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 144
(Extensions of Remarks - September 10, 2019)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1120]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




  INTRODUCTION OF A BILL TO REQUIRE THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE BUREAU OF 
        LAND MANAGEMENT TO REMAIN IN THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION

                                 ______
                                 

                       HON. ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON

                      of the district of columbia

                    in the house of representatives

                      Tuesday, September 10, 2019

  Ms. NORTON. Madam Speaker, today, I rise to introduce a bill that 
would require the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) headquarters to 
remain in the National Capital Region (NCR). My bill would require 
BLM's headquarters, as well as positions already located in the NCR on 
the date of the enactment of the bill, to remain located in the NCR. 
The bill is cosponsored by Representatives Anthony Brown, Gerald 
Connolly, Steny Hoyer, Jamie Raskin, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, John 
Sarbanes, David Trone and Jennifer Wexton.
  My bill should not be needed, as more than 95 percent of BLM staff 
already work outside of the NCR, undoubtedly because of where land 
under BLM jurisdiction is located. The small number of employees at 
headquarters serve the indispensable role of keeping Congress and the 
president informed of its activities. Congress cannot do its work to 
write laws and engage in vital oversight without the unvarnished facts 
that nonpartisan agencies, like BLM, provide. The Washington Post 
reports that the Trump administration's plans to relocate most of the 
BLM's D.C. workforce outside of the NCR will impact roughly 300 
employees. The administration's attempt to move BLM employees mirrors 
attempts by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to illegally move two 
of its agencies from the NCR to Kansas City.
  In July, reports emerged that employees are deserting these two USDA 
agencies in high numbers, devastating parts of these agencies. Unless 
measures are taken to stop the reorganization of BLM, the same outcome 
could await this agency. Losses of BLM headquarters staff would 
directly hurt public lands and impact hundreds of federal employees and 
their families.
  I strongly urge my colleagues to support this legislation.

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