The 2019 Senate agriculture appropriations bill follows House language in expressing concern of the Department of Agriculture’s plans to relocate the National Institute of Food and Agriculture out of the Washington metropolitan area. The language also says it is “appropriate” for the Economic Research Service to stay in the Research, Education and Economics mission area rather than move to the Office of the Chief Economist, according to the Hagstrom Report.
The bill specifically expresses concern “about the unknown costs associated with the proposed move,” and USDA is directed to include all cost estimates for the proposed move of the two agencies, as well as a detailed analysis of any research benefits of their relocation. The House bill released last week contains similar language. The move indicates that both the House and Senate agree on opposing the moves, at least until USDA consults with Congress about the proposal.