Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Agriculture Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research Subcommittee held a hearing to examine the impacts of relocating USDA research agencies. After the hearing, Subcommittee Ranking Member Neal Dunn (FL-2) and Committee Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) made the following remarks:
“Secretary Perdue has enacted a culture of customer service and efficiency at USDA. There is nothing that prevents USDA’s mission from extending outside of the beltway. Many USDA offices and programs reside in cities and towns across the country, and successfully provide customer service to our stakeholders. While I understand that it is politically expedient to oppose something the president and his administration support, the Democrats’ own legislation to stop this relocation would actually force USDA to relocate thousands of employees of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to Washington, D.C.,” said Subcommittee Ranking Member Dunn.
“The elitist notion that all wisdom and knowledge stems from Washington, D.C. is offensive to me and should be offensive to anyone who resides in rural America. Secretary Perdue gets that. What is most puzzling is why, out of all the issues facings producers, we’ve chosen to focus in on the issue of relocation. I urge the committee to get back to addressing the real issues that face producers,” said Committee Ranking Member Conaway.