The proposal to move roughly 300 employees from a key Interior Department agency — among them the majority of top managers — comes as Trump officials are forcibly reassigning career officials and upending operations across the federal government. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue finalized plans this summer to move about 550 jobs at two of his department’s scientific agencies from the nation’s capital to greater Kansas City. The White House is trying to abolish the Office of Personnel Management, the government’s human resources agency, and has threatened to furlough as many as 150 employees if Congress blocks it.
“The problem with Washington is too many policy makers are far removed from the people they are there to serve,” Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) said in a statement supporting the land agency’s move. “Ninety-nine percent of the land the BLM manages is West of the Mississippi River, and so should be the BLM headquarters.”
But opponents argue that abrupt decisions to relocate or reassign federal workers have not been justified by sufficient analysis, can disrupt families’ lives and already have cost the government valuable expertise. BLM has about 360 employees in Washington, many of them supervisors, with 95 percent of its 9,260 employees working in the field.