Note: As part of a (currently hypothetical) platform for John Fial as a candidate for the 2020 Democratic Nomination for President, this page serves as one of the two main campaign platform webpages, with the primary platform goal of relocating parts of the federal government. For the other pages, including the secondary goal of writing constitutional amendments, see www.johnfial.com/campaign
Relocate the Federal Branches
The simplest and most powerful idea to improve the federal government is that we relocate two of the three federal headquarters across the continental U.S., leaving only one to remain in Washington, D.C.
My personal opinion is that:
- The White House and President be moved immediately to the western third of the continent (whether closer to or further from the Pacific, Canada, and Mexico remain details up for debate), with other executive headquarters to move in the following years and decades;
- The Congress be relocated to the central third of the continent, allowing for fair travel distances required by all sitting members of Congress, their staff, and any Americans traveling to Congress for professional or personal reasons; and
- The Supreme Court remain in Washington, D.C., which would serve as the nation’s “historic capital.”
Congressional Expectation: Modern Congresses are unlikely to even choose a site within a typical term, let alone appropriate funds or begin the transition. Congress must be motivated by either a) Presidential leadership or executive deadlines, b) the will of the American public, or c) the idea abandoned, the Supreme Court relocated, leaving Congress to remain in D.C.
Executive Expectation: President and White House choose new location within 6 months, breaks ground within 12-18 months, President/Cabinet/initial staff relocated within 12-24 months. (Historically, the President has served from a White House in other cities, and occasionally while traveling, so there is precedent.) Full executive relocation will likely take several decades.
Judicial Expectation: Failing the relocation of Congress, or alternative public opinion, the Supreme Court could decide to relocate, with Congress remaining in Washington, D.C.
However, this debate and all its details would require input from all Americans, and should be finalized in public, through Congress.
The change would benefit all Americans, be equally attractive and challenging to both major political parties, historic, and inspiring. Over the centuries, corruption is an inevitable fact of any government or position/body of power, but this simple change would be the greatest structural modification for fighting corruption since the ratification of the modern U.S. constitution, which split power amongst our famous “three branches of government.”