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Opening Statements

Opening Statement: Ranking Member Dusty Johnson - Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations Public Hearing: “Review of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights”

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

Thank you, Madam Chair.

Welcome, Ms. Earp. Thank you for taking the time to discuss the important work being done by your office – the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR).

I want to first recognize your service to this country. You have dedicated yourself to the American people and the agencies that serve them for decades. You have been both the Chair and Vice Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You have had to work through a variety of circumstances that I am sure will be touched on today; some bring you joy, while others certainly still provide periods of personal reflection.

OASCR provides overall leadership, coordination, and direction for USDA’s civil rights programs, including matters related to program delivery, compliance, and equal employment opportunity. Its mission is to provide leadership and direction for the fair and equitable treatment of all USDA customers and employees while ensuring the delivery of quality programs and enforcement of civil rights. You, Ms. Earp, are at the helm of one of the most important divisions of USDA.

Your team manages complaint processes, enforces compliance, conducts trainings, provides technical assistance, and drafts impact analyses. This is certainly not a division of USDA without work.

Your testimony highlights your commitment to civil rights including building strategic partnerships, accountability, and prevention. It is evident by the reports I see from the Department that progress is being made. I hope that today’s hearing permits you to discuss accomplishments and where you see the division going in 2020 and beyond.

I thank you again for being here and look forward to today’s discussion.

With that, I yield back.