U.S. Senator Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, has introduced legislation that would move 10 federal agencies out of Washington, D.C. – setting up a lively battle between lawmakers on Capitol Hill. His bill would relocate the entire Department of Agriculture to Missouri.

Sen. Josh Hawley

Hawley says D.C.-based departments are too removed from the rest of America and his legislation would relocate the agencies to economically distressed regions.

Some USDA employees protested this year’s transfer of two research agencies to Kansas City. Hawley says a former USDA researcher wrote a Washington Post opinion article snubbing Missouri. The writer contends the USDA move was designed to push staffers to quit, rather than uproot their families.

“To have these D.C. bureaucrats say that moving to Missouri is a form of punishment, that the only reason to do it is just to somehow get back at USDA employees, I mean that’s unbelievable,” Hawley tells Fox News. “Look, if they don’t want to go to Missouri, that’s fine. They don’t have to work for USDA. But there are lots of folks in the Midwest, in the Kansas City region and all over my state, who would love to have these jobs. Let them compete.”

The legislation would also include moving the Department of Education to neighboring Tennessee and the Energy Department to nearby Kentucky. Hawley is co-sponsoring the bill with Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee.

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