Just one month after USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack warned Congress of the “high probability” of furloughs, Congressional appropriators have approved the department’s request to shift funds instead.
According to Government Executive, roughly 94,000 USDA employees are now off the hook this fiscal year.
The furloughs had previously been proposed for employees working within the Farm Service Agency and Rural Development division.
In early April, Vilsack requested to use special limited budget flexibility, also known as interchange transfer authority, to cover salary shortfalls within the Rural Development. Congress had until May 23 to respond. Read more here.
Vilsack also pledged to give up part of his salary if the USDA was forced to furlough employees.