At a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing examining the lessons learned from remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) highlighted her bill that would move some federal agencies outside of Washington and closer to the folks who know the needs of their states, farms, and businesses best.
The Strategic Withdrawal of Agencies for Meaningful Placement (SWAMP) Act would distribute future agency headquarters over geographically diverse areas of the nation to help ensure agencies focus on the stakeholders most impacted by their decisions while also bringing stable jobs to new parts of the country.
Currently, the headquarters of nearly all executive branch agencies are clustered in and around Washington, D.C., concentrating hundreds of thousands of jobs in the region. The SWAMP Act creates a competitive bidding process that allows states, cities, and towns across the country to compete to be an agency’s new home.
Ernst stated, “During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our federal workers have successfully done their jobs remotely, showing us that they don’t necessarily need to be in Washington to do their jobs. I think this bolsters my argument that we can and should move more jobs out of Washington…”