Congress pumps brakes on Interior push to relocate Bureau of Land Management

Interior says it will now proceed with plans to move about 300 employees to Western states

By Rebecca Beitsch | The Hill

The Interior Department says it is moving ahead with plans to relocate a Washington-based agency to Colorado after getting the green light from Congress, but lawmakers say no such approval has been granted.

The Department of the Interior is preparing to move 27 top officials at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to new headquarters in Grand Junction, Colo., while scattering other D.C.-based employees to existing offices out West.

The House Appropriations Committee was given 30 days to submit questions to Interior about the move and the reallocation of $5 million to cover related costs. 

Lawmakers had a number of questions: What are the benefits to Interior and the American public? What problem will this solve? Why was BLM singled out for this move?

The 30-day period ended on Aug. 15, and Interior says it will now proceed with plans to move about 300 employees to Western states after answering all questions from lawmakers.

But some lawmakers beg to differ.

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