Interior Official Threatens To Withhold Jobs In Lawmakers' Districts

"An outgoing top official at the U.S. Department of the Interior said he may reconsider placing government employees in the home states of lawmakers who expressed opposition to the relocation of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), who oversee the Interior Department's budget through their roles on the Senate and House Appropriations committees, wrote last Friday asking the agency to suspend its relocation of BLM.

A response from Joe Balash, BLM’s assistant secretary for land and minerals management who announced Aug. 20 he is resigning from Interior, makes clear their opposition has jeopardized plans to send federal employees to their state.  

"Given your apparent strong feelings about the Department's actions and intentions, we pledge to review and reconsider the relocation of additional departmental resources to your state," Balash wrote to the two lawmakers in a letter obtained by The Hill. "We are also open to working with other delegations that object to additional departmental resources being allocated to their states.""

Rebecca Beitsch reports for The Hill August 28, 2019.

Source: The Hill, 08/30/2019