Skip to Content

Press Releases

Peterson Urges GSA Administrator to Proceed with Collaborative Transition

WASHINGTON (November 23, 2020) – Citing impacts to farmers, ranchers, and consumers from delays in the transition process, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota wrote to General Services Administrator Emily Murphy Monday urging the agency to proceed with a collaborative transition with the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden.

“The inability of President-elect Biden’s transition team to access briefings and other resources to be brought up to speed by career, civil service experts may directly impact food costs and consumers’ options on grocery store shelves. And, it jeopardizes our food supply and the economic wellbeing of American farmers and ranchers, and by extension, the rural communities where they live and work,” Peterson wrote.

Specifically, Peterson cited the impacts of COVID-19 on the health of workers at meatpacking plants, and the corresponding ability of those plants to remain in operation.  He raised potential threats to domestic pork and poultry operations from diseases like African Swine Fever and High Pathogenic Avian Influenza, which USDA must both monitor abroad and guard against domestically.

He called attention to the shortage of domestic CO2 production capacity, resulting in part from a downturn in the production of ethanol, which may impact meat and food processing as the demand for dry ice ramps up with the COVID-19 vaccine roll out.

Peterson also noted the importance of trade negotiations that will outlive the outgoing Trump Administration.

“Dedicated civil service staff… throughout the Department are monitoring these and other crucial situations, but it will take high level leadership and the ability to muster funding to address them.” Peterson wrote. “As current senior appointees begin to depart the current Administration, the handover of this information simply cannot wait until January 20, 2021.”

A full copy of the letter is available here.
Back to top