Faced with criticism about delays in research reports and distribution of grant funding, a top USDA official defended the department’s decision to relocate the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture to the Kansas City region at a congressional hearing Thursday.
Senate Republicans are moving a fiscal 2020 spending bill for the Agriculture Department that tees up a fight with House Democrats over the relocation of two USDA research agencies to the Kansas City region.
The Agriculture Department has the legal authority to move the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture to Kansas City, but USDA may not have the authority to spend money on the relocation, USDA's inspector general says.
USDA is working to ensure the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture continue to perform “mission-critical work” during the transition of the two agencies to the Kansas City region, a top-ranking science official told the Senate Agriculture Committee today.
Fewer than 150 employees of the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture have agreed to move to the Kansas City region, where their agencies are being relocated, according to USDA.
Lawmakers probe the Trump administration’s handling of agricultural research this week, while the clock ticks on a series of issues, including the fiscal 2020 budget and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science and more than a dozen land grant universities have signed a letter urging Senate appropriators to stop the Department of Agriculture from moving two research agencies to Kansas City.