Update: Martha Johnson's nomination…still on hold


Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond, R-Mo., rose to speak on the Senate floor yesterday to inform everyone he’s not lifting the hold on Martha Johnson’s nomination to lead the General Services Administration until the GSA explains…again…why it decided to build a federally owned building to house 1,200 feds in downtown Kansas City, rather than taking the more costly lease-construction route. (A lease-construction project is when a contractor builds a space to government specs then leases it to the government.)

In the Oct. 29 floor statement, Bond expressed frustration that GSA decided to “pull the plug” on the lease-construction project that he and local leaders had worked with the Bush administration to get.

Bond claimed he was waiting for GSA’s response as to the future of the project, even though GSA did so in an Oct. 9 letter to Bond and other Missouri congressional delegates. GSA Public Building Service Commissioner Robert Peck wrote that the agency would take the less costly route of constructing a building GSA would own outright.

Bond said he hoped to lift the hold soon, possibly in “a matter of a couple of days.”

Bond’s floor statement came in response to criticism from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who scolded Republicans yesterday for holding up votes on more than 200 presidential nominations.

Before leaving the floor, Bond accused Reid of hypocrisy, citing reports that Reid was the first to put a hold on Johnson’s nomination in July to ensure GSA didn’t discourage feds from attending conferences in Las Vegas.

Bond said:

Sen. Reid apparently wants federal employees to be able to visit Las Vegas…I want federal employees to have a good place to work.


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