‘Di­vest­ing’ the District of fed­eral agen­cies makes no sense

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION - Glenn Eas­ton, Chevy Chase

Re­gard­ing the March 9 Metro ar­ti­cle “GOP floats re­lo­cat­ing D.C. agen­cies”:

I am a re­tired En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency lawyer who worked for a mem­ber of Congress for a year as part of the Brook­ings In­sti­tu­tion’s leg­isla­tive fel­low­ship pro­gram. I was sur­prised at how lit­tle mem­bers knew about the work­ings of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, such as that a pro­posed reg­u­la­tion was not a law and that agen­cies sub­mit pro­pos­als for re­view un­der the Con­gres­sional Re­view Act but rarely get con­gres­sional in­put.

Now Rep. Ja­son Chaf­fetz (R-Utah) puts forth “Divest D.C.” to re­lo­cate fed­eral jobs out­side the District. This just demon­strates ig­no­rance of how fed­eral agen­cies op­er­ate. There are re­gional and lo­cal of­fices for ev­ery fed­eral agency. At the EPA, our 10 re­gional of­fices are each led by a Se­nate-con­firmed ad­min­is­tra­tor. The bulk of EPA re­sources go out to the re­gions and states via grant pro­grams. If mem­bers of Congress re­searched the agen­cies they over­see, they would see how lu­di­crous and pan­der­ing such a pro­posal is.

Phyl­lis An­der­son, Chevy Chase

Congress has enough to work on with­out fight­ing over whose district would host a fed­eral agency to boost lo­cal economies and em­ploy­ment per Rep. Ja­son Chaf­fetz’s (R-Utah) sug­ges­tion to move fed­eral agen­cies out of the District.

Let’s keep agen­cies where they are and let Congress fo­cus on real prob­lems. If any­thing, maybe re­turn more of the District to Mary­land and Vir­ginia, where a more vi­able tax base could serve more con­stituent needs.

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