USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack is taking notes from the likes of President Obama, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Secretary of State John Kerry and other officials in the executive and legislative branches of our government.
Earlier this week, Vilsack told the Des Moines Register that he would give up part of his salary if the USDA is forced to furlough employees. Cabinet secretaries earn nearly $200,000 annually.
“I’ve indicated that early in the process,” Vilsack said in an interview. “We’ll be doing what we have to do.”
While the USDA is still assessing whether it will need to furlough employees, Vilsack stresses that the department is in better shape than other cabinet department. Read more from the Des Moine Register.
The furloughs are just one result of the sequester that began on March 1.
The USDA announced in mid-March that it had suspended several livestock reports, including the monthly Milk Production report. However, amid public outcry, the department later reinstated a partial Milk Production report for the rest of the fiscal year. Meat inspectors were also threatened with a furlough until Congress approved $55 million to prevent it.