Norton Vows to Fight USDA Relocation from National Capital Region
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) vowed to fight the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) decision today to move the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) from the National Capital Region (NCR). The decision by USDA comes despite congressional opposition. Norton, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and six colleagues got a provision included in the House Appropriations Committee-passed fiscal year 2020 Agriculture Appropriations bill to block funding for USDA to move EIRS and NIFA out of NCR.
“The USDA, in defiance of Congress, is pushing forward without the requisite legal authority to move these agencies, and following the Appropriations Committee’s decision to block this move in fiscal year 2020,” Norton said. “USDA is trying to accomplish this move before the 2020 fiscal year begins, when they would be restricted from doing so. USDA has not done the required analysis of the costs and benefits, and the Inspector General review of the proposal with a proper cost-benefit analysis is not yet complete. I believe we can still keep this move from occurring.”
In 2018, at the request of Norton and Hoyer, the USDA Inspector General (IG) began reviewing the proposed move. Subsequently, concerns were expressed by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees in the fiscal year 2019 Agriculture Appropriations bill.