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USDA staff quit en masse, as a Trump administration eyes the offices of DC move

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The staff at the U.S. Department of agriculture stop at a rapid clip as the Secretary Sonny Perdue is preparing to move forward with the plans for the relocation of two offices, far outside the Washington, DC, Beltway.

Employees of the Federal authorities in the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) – two small, but important agencies within the USDA are unhappy with Perdue’s plan, announced to move last August, the majority of their employees from the current headquarters in the capital to an area closer to the country’s agricultural centers.

“This step does not serve a public purpose,” Peter Winch, a representative of the American Federation of Government Employees, a union that represents ERS employee, told Fox News. “The employees do not want to move, and it does not make sense for you to move.”

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Winds added that since the ERS-employees are given up by AFGE earlier this month, six employees already have their jobs, with the authority, in response to the planned move. He said, overall, the cast is up to 209 of 300 during the Obama administration.

A Washington Post report quoted an estimate that the ERS used to see, for example, a “non-retirement” departure per month – but the pace has doubled since October. NIFA has reportedly also seen people leave.

Employees of the Federal authorities in the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) – two small, but important agencies within the USDA are dissatisfied with move-wax plan, the majority of their employees from their current headquarters in the capital to an area closer to the country’s agricultural centers. (iStock)

Perdue said in a statement to Fox News that the move was intended “to improve the performance and the services provided by these agencies.” The agriculture Minister added that the planned measure would be the Department, the scientists closer to the “stakeholders” and “customers,” as Midwest farmers.

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“It was our goal to be the USDA said the effective, efficient and customer-oriented Department in the entire Federal government,” Perdue. “We don’t have to commit to these moves lightly, and we do it, in order to improve the performance and the services provided by these agencies.”

Perdue added: “We will be placing important USDA resources closer to many of the participants, most of whom live and work far away from Washington, DC, We save money for taxpayers and improving our ability to retain more employees in the long term.”

The goal of the ERS, however, the provision of statistical information to the lawmakers in Washington to provide funding for a while NIFA works, the hundreds of millions of dollars annually in research in agriculture.

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Congress-Democrats are scrambling to try and block the movement.

“This narrow-minded idea of how ‘Washington casinos everything. Let’s move it out of town” with a view to the important role played by this Agency,” Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, a member of the house agriculture Committee, told The Washington Post. “There is only an increased level of concern about this administration, in General, the data collection and science.”

Agriculture’s Sonny Perdue, said in a statement sent to Fox News that the move is meant” to improve performance and the services provided by these agencies.” The agriculture Minister added that the planned measure would be the Department, the scientists closer to the “stakeholders” and “customers,” as Midwest farmers. (iStock)

Critics, including former USDA officials say the move would weaken the agencies, to reduce their influence on legislators and offer little benefit for agriculture.

Winch argues that the weakening of the agencies influence in Washington at least part of the point. To trivialize the NIFA funds granted in the research on the impact of agriculture on climate change– which has tried the trump administration, and Perdue was allegedly upset about NIFA policy to support the LGBT members of the 4-H youth-agriculture-organization.

The President, by 2020, the budget has also proposed slashing funding to ERS research, from $ 87 million to $61 million and the cut 160 jobs, while Perdue has proposed moving the Agency under the USDA’s science arm, under the supervision of the USDA chief economist, a political wing of the Department.

“It is a kind of criminal motivation,” winch said. “Someone has a negative opinion of these agencies.”

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Perdue and his staff have narrowed the list of places where the two agencies to below could go to three of the original 130 — Kansas City, Indiana, and North Carolina research triangle in the Raleigh-Durham area in the narrower selection. St. Louis, Mo., and in Madison, Wis., two Alternative sites are.

Wax, it is expected that the announcement of where the agencies will move as soon as Friday, but it remains unclear whether the two agencies will in fact Washington left.

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The USDA’s own inspector general is currently looking for, whether wax has the power to move these to the agencies, while the house appropriations Committee, the draft law of agricultural resources, which was published bans earlier this week, to move the USDA of funds, agencies outside of Washington. Trump-2020-budget-proposal wants to shift $15.5 million for ERS and $to move 9.5 million of NIFA.

“We continue to believe that the USDA has the legal authority for the implementation of this proposal is missing,” rep. Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., said in a statement earlier this spring. “But even if there is such an Agency, the USDA has not the correct analysis of the costs and benefits, and this proposal by the agriculture research, and our electorate harm.”

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