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August 8, 2019 4:49 p.m.

This Week: A Sudden Relocation Pushes Experts Out At USDA

Move 1,000 miles or get out: In a series of stories this week, we’ve explored the mandatory relocation of hundreds of employees in two agencies housed within the USDA, the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). We were drawn to this story after a member of the the administration slipped up, confessing that the relocation, which will result in both agencies losing scores of expert of economists and researchers, was designed to do just that. While “it’s nearly impossible to fire a federal worker,” White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said at fundraiser Friday, moving an agency to “the real part of the country” would result in hundreds of fewer people on the department’s payroll. “What a wonderful way to streamline government, and do what we haven’t been able to do for a long time,” he said. But even before that, the move smelled fishy. Unlike other governmental relocations, which can take years…

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