Yesterday, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) joined Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) in introducing legislation to block the Trump administration’s relocation of hundreds of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employees from the department’s headquarters in Washington, DC.
“This relocation does not serve the American public, and it does not appear to be based on any legitimate concerns to improve the management of our public lands or to save taxpayer dollars,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “This decision is nothing more than a deliberate attempt to dismantle yet another federal agency. Nearly 95% of BLM employees are already located out in the field, and those who work at the agency’s headquarters in Washington serve as vital liaisons to decision makers in Congress and advocates for our public lands. My colleagues and I will continue to stand against this administration’s efforts to decimate the nonpartisan civil service that works every day to support the American people.”
In July, the Trump administration announced that it would move the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management out of Washington, DC and relocate it to Grand Junction, Colorado. The decision was announced by the acting director of BLM, William Perry Pendley, who has yet to be confirmed by the Senate.
The Trump administration has also begun to relocate several hundred employees from two DC-based Department of Agriculture agencies, the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), without budgetary approval by Congress. Rep. Wexton has actively opposed the relocation of ERS and NIFA as well, saying that the “degree of disrespect and hostility this administration has demonstrated for federal workers,” has been “alarming.” Wexton sent a letter to Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting transparency into the Department’s failure to respond to extension requests from employees facing relocation, as well as a letter with the entire National Capital Region Congressional Delegation urging Secretary Perdue to reverse the decision to move the agency.