Lawmakers Demand Answers on Plans to Relocate 2 Agencies

A trio of senators want answers about the Trump administration’s plans to relocate two scientific agencies outside the Washington, D.C., metro area, a decision they called “abrupt.”

In a letter to the heads of the Agriculture Department and the General Services Administration, Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Gary Peters, D-Mich., said they wanted to specifically know about costs, the reason for the relocation and a timeline for the move of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Economic Research Service.

“We are concerned that the Administration’s plans to relocate these agencies will hamper the ability of the agencies to achieve their important research missions, add unnecessary expenses, increase staff turnover, and hinder the recruitment and retention of staff at NIFA and ERS,”the senators wrote.

Announced in August, the relocation aims to consolidate USDA’s workforce and “help ensure USDA is the most effective, most efficient, and most customer-focused agency in the federal government, allowing us to be closer to our stakeholders and move our resources closer to our customers,” USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said May 3.

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