Grassley takes aim at Vilsack for USDA sequester cuts - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Grassley takes aim at Vilsack for USDA sequester cuts

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Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is taking aim at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack.

That's for pushing for furloughs of meat inspectors because of the sequester.

Vilsack told the House Ag Committee this week that each inspector will likely be furloughed 11 to 12 days.

The White House has said meatpacking plants cannot operate without inspectors, so furloughs will cause plants to shut down from time to time.

Senator Grassley says the furloughs should come from other employees at the USDA. He says furloughing meat inspectors violates the orders of the Office of Management and Budget which told departments to continue programs involved with national security, law enforcement, health and safety. Sen. Charles Grassley, (R) Iowa said, "So you can understand why the Secretary of Ag, by furloughing meat inspectors, as opposed to other people that were non inspectors in the department, seems to be very silly.

Secretary Vilsack said the furlough process will already be complicated because of negotiations with labor unions representing inspectors.

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