Rep. Ryan calls for spreading wealth of Washington jobs - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Rep. Ryan calls for spreading wealth of Washington jobs

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WASHINGTON -

President Donald Trump pledged to “drain the swamp” in Washington during his political campaign. Now a Valley congressman wants some of the "water" to flow into communities around the country.

It may not be what the President had in mind, but Congressman Tim Ryan is proposing legislation that would result in moving some government operations out of the nation's capital and in essence, spread the wealth of jobs around the country.

"They're always building new buildings and expanding and hiring people to help run the federal government and I want to study and see what agencies could be moved out of Washington," said Ryan. 

Ryan introduced the Federal Government Decentralization Commission Act on Thursday.

The act would establish a commission under the General Services Administration, headed by the Administrator of the GSA and 10 other members that would study the relocation of select executive agencies or divisions of agencies outside the Washington metropolitan area.

The commission would identify new potential locations that are in economically distressed areas, or areas with expertise in the mission and goal of the agency.

Taking into account national security implications, the commission will be required to produce an economic and workforce development study on how the relocation will impact the new location.

“The Founding Fathers could not have imagined our current federal government system,” says Ryan in a news release. “With more than 300,000 federal workers in the Washington DC metropolitan area in 190 federally-owned buildings and 500 leased buildings.”

Ryan says that communities across the United States, especially those that are economically distressed, should be able to benefit from the economic boost the employment centers could bring.

"You'd have 1,000 workers downtown," said Ryan as an example. "And they'd all be paying taxes into the city and the people who brought the coffee and did the copy machines and all of that stuff, would all be local suppliers so there would be a ripple effect through out the whole economy."

The congressman cites currently available technology allowing for seamless communication and collaboration between agencies regardless of geographic location.

"That's exactly what I want the commission to study, because of technology, computers, the ability to have meetings remotely you can do a lot of this stuff outside of Washington D.C. without losing any real benefit ," said Ryan.

According to Ryan, there already exists a web of federal offices and agencies across the US, such as the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta that are able to perform their work without being inside the DC beltway.

“This is a common sense way to help cities like Cleveland or Detroit share in the economic development that comes from playing host to part of the federal government,” said Congressman Ryan.

He also notes the potential for savings.

"I think the cost savings of what you would pay in a place like Youngstown for rent or to buy a building would be much cheaper than building and constructing one in Washington D.C.," said Ryan. 

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