Legislation has been introduced in the Senate to move the headquarters of the Departments of Agriculture and Education to Missouri and Tennessee, the home states of its sponsors.
The Helping Infrastructure Restore the Economy (HIRE) Act, was introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. They say it would create jobs outside the “D.C. bubble” where costs are lower, and place “policymakers directly into the communities they serve.”
S-2672 has been referred to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and it remains to be seen whether such a striking proposal comes up for a vote. However, the bill, which also seeks a broad relocation of funding and jobs to “economically distressed regions” in several states could garner lawmakers’ consideration.
It also echoes a recent decision by the USDA to relocate two sub-agencies from Washington DC to the Kansas City area. Agency leadership and OMB have said the point of the USDA move is to situate public servants closer to the communities they serve, but unions have claimed attrition is a primary goal, arguing that many employees would rather quit than uproot to a new state – something that’s not lost on OMB.
Citing the USDA move, the Sens. said the bill “would boost this trend” and calls for Commerce to be moved to Pennsylvania, Energy to Kentucky, HHS to Indiana, HUD to Ohio, Labor to West Virginia, and the VA to South Carolina, among others.