View Release on Sen. Ernst's Website HERE.

“The American people deserve a federal workforce that shows up for what Americans pay them to do.”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business Committee,recently exposed that Biden’s Small Business Administration (SBA) is utilizing just nine percent of its headquarters maintained on the taxpayer’s dime. Today, Ernst called on SBA Administrator Isabella Guzman to increase the transparency of SBA’s telework policies, locality pay, unused office space, and taxpayer-funded union time payments. 

In the letter, Ernst writes: “Despite what federal employee unions might think, the costs of delays and denial of services is a high price, one the American people should not be forced to pay.

“The shockingly high vacancy rate at your headquarters is particularly concerning for small business owners seeking Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance and customer service. The SBA has, over the course of multiple administrations, decided to downsize district office support, while growing staff at the Washington, D.C. headquarters. My staff has learned the SBA’s workforce in Iowa has seen a 300 percent reduction over eight years. These positions are alleged to have been relocated to the D.C. headquarters, where teleworking is far more pervasive.

“In light of the Biden administration’s unprecedented lack of transparency, and as Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, my role is to ensure your agency is properly utilizing remote work in ways which truly support small businesses in Iowa and across the United States—not simply because bureaucrats don’t want to return to the office.”

In the letter, Ernst requests more information on the status of the labor dispute between the SBA and its labor union, a briefing addressing SBA’s telework policy changes in fall 2023, data on taxpayer-funded union time and locality pay since Fiscal Year 2020, and for the SBA to provide information on its plans to address the underutilization of its office space.


In August, Ernst demanded investigations into 24 federal departments and agencies to determine the impact of telework on the delivery and response times of services. Following her advocacy, the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Inspector General responded to her request and is currently considering an audit to examine whether GSA has appropriately evaluated its physical space needs and utilization. A few months later, the GSA announced it would downsize 3.5 million square feet of federal buildings, which would save taxpayers over $1 billion.

Ernst also increased accountability for federal telework abuse by passing an amendment to hold the Biden administration accountable for the cost to taxpayers and the impact on services from continued remote work by Washington bureaucrats.

Read the letter here