Leadership changes in the 113th Congress already are having an impact on federal real estate decisions. Maryland lawmakers—led by Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who recently took over as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee—announced last week (Thursday, January 3) that the Treasury Department and GSA have agreed to delay plans to relocate 450 Financial Management Service (FMS) jobs from Hyattsville, Md., to Parkersburg, W. Va. The FMS employees, who had been told last summer that they would have to relocate or leave the agency by January 2015, have been given until the end of 2019 to make the move, which is part of the department’s effort to consolidate FMS and the Bureau of the Public Debt (BPD) into a single organization.
Mikulski—along with fellow Sen. Ben Cardin and Maryland Reps. Elijah Cummings, Donna Edwards, Steny Hoyer, John Sarbanes and Chris Van Hollen—had opposed the relocation and fought since last August to keep the jobs in Prince George’s County. While Van Hollen applauded “Treasury’s decision to extend the deadline for employees to develop their transition plans,” and added that “this additional time will ensure that the transition process moves deliberately and transparently,” Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III said in a written statement that he hopes the delay will lead to a decision to keep the jobs in his county permanently. Mikulski, in her new position, is in a position to do just that.