Sen. Marshall Pushes for Federal Offices, Eisenhower Presidential Library to Reopen

(Washington, D.C., July 16, 2021) – Today, U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. led his colleagues in sending a letter to Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Shalanda Young, Office of Personnel Management Acting Director Kathleen McGettigan, and General Services Administrator Acting Administrator Katy Kale to reiterate the need to quickly resume pre-pandemic levels of service for federal offices, including the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum located in Abilene.

“Before the pandemic, visitors from across the country came to Abilene, Kansas to visit the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home,” said Senator Marshall. “However, since the Library is operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, its re-opening has been hampered by the federal government’s lack of a timely plan to return federal employees to the office. Instead of being able to freely visit the grounds, potential visitors have been met with confusion around visitation hours, the need for entry tickets, and the unexpected closure of buildings including the gift shop and Ike’s boyhood home. With vaccinations on the rise and new cases of COVID-19 at a fraction of what they were in January, the time has come to reopen all federal agencies, including the Eisenhower Library and Museum, to in-person service at pre-pandemic levels.”

Full Text of Letter:

July 16, 2021

Ms. Shalanda Young

Acting Director

Office of Management and Budget

1650 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Washington, D.C. 20503

Ms. Katy Kale

Acting Administrator

General Services Administration

1800 F Street NW

Washington, D.C. 20405

Ms. Kathleen McGettigan

Acting Director

Office of Personnel Management

1900 E Street NW

Washington, D.C. 20415

Dear Acting Director Young, Acting Director McGettigan, and Acting Administrator Kale,

We write today to follow up on multiple letters sent regarding the operating status of federal agencies, and to reiterate the need to quickly resume pre-pandemic levels of service. Across the country, many American citizens have safely returned to in-person work, have attended school and public events, and many county and city-level government offices have fully re-opened to serve Americans in person. Unfortunately, the federal government not only has failed to follow suit, it has not yet developed a timely plan for returning to in-person service at pre-pandemic levels.

Nearly every federal agency has been operating with maximum telework policies for the better part of the past sixteen months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, remote work policies enacted by federal agencies have done more than limit in-person meetings and appointments for constituents seeking assistance. As liaisons between the American public and federal agencies, our staffs have often been informed that agency personnel do not have access to physical mail, cannot access certain servers for data collection, and cannot retrieve voicemails left on office phones, leaving concerns unanswered and assistance greatly delayed. The lack of access to technologies, data, and resources necessary to serve the American public has had a disproportionate impact on the mentally ill, low-income, as well as the elderly, who often do not have consistent access to email or an internet connection. While maximum telework policies were necessary during the darkest days of the pandemic, it’s time to begin bringing federal employees back to the office.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the current 7-day moving average of daily new cases continues to decline. As of July 16, the 7-day average decreased by 89.6% from the highest peak, reached on January 10, 2021.1 This is a testament to the efficacy of our vaccines, which are now widely available to Americans over the age of 12. To date, the CDC repo rts that at least 67.9% of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

On June 10, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum3 to the heads of executive departments and agencies directing them to complete their planning for reentry by July 19, 2021. According to the memorandum, the agency’s plan should detail how and when to return to an increased number of employees and contractors in-person to the Federal workplace, as well as the intended post reentry personnel policies and work environment. However, 0MB does not instruct agencies to include specific policies, procedures, or detailed timelines; rather they only need to submit high-level guidelines that will be used to inform decisions, and these planning documents do not need to be provided at the level of each division, office, or team across the agency. The memorandum then goes on to detail that implementation of these phased plans for reentry and post-reentry will only begin after a handful of other steps have been carried out, further casting doubt on a quick resumption of in-person duties.

The slow pace at which federal agencies are moving not only sends conflicting messages to the

American public, but also deprives constituents from timely responses and much-needed assistance.

With that in mind, we respectfully request that you provide us with the following information:

1. What metrics are being used to define parameters for reentry in whole or in part?

2. What metrics are being used to define essential services and how they have been sustained?

3. How are agencies factoring in national and local vaccination rates into reopening plans?

4. How are agencies factoring in local COVID-19 case rates to reopening plans?

5. How has remote work affected public inquiry and assistance response times?

6. How has remote work affected response times to Congressional inquiries?

7. What is the anticipated timeline for full reopening to pre-pandemic levels of all federal agencies?

After a year of battling the COVID-19 virus, our communities are reopening, states are relaxing mask mandates and COVID protocols, and the CDC continues to ease restriction recommendations for fully vaccinated people. The federal government has provided numerous incentives for businesses to reopen and rehire workers for in-person work, however it sends conflicting messages by the government not following its own advice. Federal agencies should lead by example, and expedite plans to resume in person assistance to the American people.


Roger Marshall, M.D.

United States Senator

Rob Portman

United States Senator

Kevin Cramer

United States Senator

John Cornyn

United States Senator

Bill Hagerty

United States Senator

Cynthia Lummis

United States Senator

Mike Braun

United States Senator

Jim Inhofe

United States Senator

Josh Hawley

United States Senator

Jim Risch

United States Senator

Richard Burr

United States Senator

Bill Cassidy, M.D.

United States Senator

Marco Rubio  

United States Senator