GOP Rep Calls For DC Swamp Relocation To America’s Heartland

A recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has disclosed that the majority of federal offices in Washington, DC, are underutilized, primarily due to the widespread adoption of teleworking among federal employees. In response to this revelation, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) has called for accountability and proposes relocating taxpayer-funded government buildings from the “D.C. swamp” to the heartland.

The GAO report, conducted from January to March 2023, evaluated 24 federal agencies, revealing that none of them occupies even half of their office space. The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Social Security Administration exhibited the lowest occupancy rates, with a mere seven percent utilization. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was also cited for low occupancy, registering at just 11 percent.

Senator Ernst, who has introduced the Strategic Withdrawal of Agencies for Meaningful Placement (SWAMP) Act, believes that moving the headquarters of federal agencies outside of Washington, DC, and distributing them across America would bring about more accountability. She argues that if government employees are not showing up to work, their agencies should be moved to the areas most impacted by their decisions.

Senator Ernst underscored the importance of accountability, declaring, “As USDA’s offices sit vacant, Iowa farmers are diligently working. If the bureaucrats at USDA under the D.C. swamp to the heartland. Perhaps this move will compel those bureaucrats shaping the rules to be more answerable to the hardworking Americans who must abide by them!”

This is not Senator Ernst’s first call for accountability and reform. In October, she successfully introduced a bill amendment that reduces pay for bureaucrats based on their remote work locations and telework extent. She has also demanded investigations into the impact of remote work on productivity.

Senator Ernst’s SWAMP Act aims to bring decision-making closer to the American people and make the government more responsive to their needs. Additionally, she supports the Stopping Home Office Work’s Unproductive Problems (SHOW UP) Act, which would require federal bureaucrats to telework on the taxpayer’s dime to show up for work physically. This is in response to what she sees as an abuse of remote work.

Furthermore, Senator Ernst has previously called for the closure of the Nancy Pelosi Federal Building in San Francisco, citing public safety concerns due to a rise in crime and drug activity in the area. She describes the building as a “far-left failure,” symbolizing government dysfunction.