Norton Vows to Fight Bureau of Land Management Sabotage
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today vowed to fight the Trump administration’s plans to move more than a fifth of the employees of the Bureau of Land Management out of the National Capital Region. The Washington Post reports that roughly 300 employees would be impacted by the proposed move. This decision comes as the administration attempts to illegally move two offices in the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to Kansas City. Norton successfully included provisions in fiscal year 2020 House spending bills to block USDA from moving to Kansas City.
“Yet again, the Trump administration is attempting to disrupt the lives of hundreds of federal employees and sabotaging their important work to fulfill a misguided politically inspired change,” Norton said. “Over 95 percent of the BLM staff work in the field, far away from Washington, yet the administration seems hellbent on sabotaging this important agency. The small number of Washington-based staff serve a vital role in keeping Congress and the president informed of its activities. In its reporting, the Washington Post notes that in the 1990s, BLM moved its wildfire staff out West, only to move them back when Congress demanded briefings on new wildfires. Just as I have fought the misguided, politically motivated relocation of USDA, I will fight this relocation with all tools at my disposal.”
In May, Norton led a letter with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) expressing concern at the USDA’s attempts to move the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture out of the National Capital Region. In June, Norton also announced that her amendment to prohibit the General Services Administration from using its funds to relocate the USDA offices passed the House.