DorobekInsider: The GSA Johnson hold update — Bond and Johnson have met

Tuesday - 8/25/2009, 10:30am EDT

I mentioned over the weekend that the Kansas City Star had confirmed that Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) has the hold on Martha Johnson’s nomination to be the administrator of the General Services Administration.

Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller has learned that Bond and Johnson have actually met to try and resolve the issues.

Congressional staffers tell Federal News Radio that the two met in early August before the Senate went on recess.

“While the Senator sat down with the nominee for a face-to-face meeting, he is waiting on additional information on projects important to Kansas City,” senate staffers said.

Bond’s staff, however, would not detail what those projects are. The Kansas City Star’s Kevin Collinson’s story says it is mostly seeking to pressure the government to build a downtown federal office building.

The proposal to consolidate more than 1,200 area federal workers in either a new or existing building downtown was thought to have been cleared by Washington agencies last fall when the GSA and Office of Management and Budget finally forwarded the plan to Congress.

Most of the federal workers are now at the Bannister Federal Complex in south Kansas City, which is gradually being vacated by its government tenants.

But in June, the Senate Environmental and Public Works Commission asked Anthony Costa, GSA acting commissioner for public buildings, for more financial analysis. Bond suspected the move had been requested by GSA bureaucrats as part of an effort to scuttle the Kansas City plan.

We will continue to watch it.