Hoyer Statement on Reports that USDA is Hiring Retirees at ERS and NIFA

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) released the following statement today on the Trump Administration offering retired federal employees jobs at the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) in order to fill openings created by its decision to relocate the agencies:

“I continue to oppose USDA’s decision to relocate the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) from the National Capital Region to Kansas City.  Reports that the agency is now hiring former employees to fill jobs and do the work here in DC are another indicator of just how ill-advised and harmful this decision is for the federal government and the American people.  

“After forcing hundreds of dedicated, qualified federal employees to quit their jobs rather than relocate their families across the country, USDA is now admitting that it just can’t hire individuals with no prior experience at these agencies and expect them to do the highly-specialized, important work these agencies do. In addition, by hiring former federal employees to work here in DC, it completely undermines the rationale for the planned move to Kansas City – that the USDA couldn’t retain necessary workers in DC and wanted workers at the agencies to be closer to stakeholders.

“I continue to be concerned that the Administration’s primary motivation for moving ERS and NIFA was to punish employees for doing research that contradicted the Administration’s agenda. In effect, this Administration did an end-run around rules designed to protect federal workers from politically-motivated retaliation and forced talented employees to quit. These efforts are sabotaging the important work of these agencies, preventing farmers and the public from getting timely access to important information about the agricultural economy, and disrupting the lives of federal workers and their families – and they will not go ignored. I will continue to speak out and demand accountability from this Administration for its efforts to undermine the morale and missions of our federal workforce.”   

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