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Opening Statements

Opening Statement: Republican Leader Don Bacon Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations Subcommittee Hearing: “Review of the Office of the Inspector General Report on ‘USDA Oversight of Civil Rights Complaints’”

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.

And thank you to our witness today. I welcome Inspector Fong to the Subcommittee and look forward to the discussion.

First and foremost, while I appreciate the work of OIG on this review, I remain uncertain as to why we would not bring the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR, pronounced OS-CAR), even if it involved a second panel.

After years – regardless of Administration – of issues, it would be much more useful to question Deputy Assistant Secretary Rainge (RANGE) about her Agency and its future, ensuring program and employee complaints are processed timely and with integrity.

OASCR provides the 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.

Frankly, it is one of the most important agencies at the Department.

Madam Chairwoman, I hope to see Deputy Assistant Secretary Rainge before us soon.

And if my colleagues will indulge me for a moment, I do hope this subcommittee soon takes up the business of oversight of the 2018 Farm Bill. We have yet to hear from FNS personnel – publicly – regarding implementation, lack thereof, pandemic related policies and spending, and of course, the $256 billion baseline update done at the leisure of this Administration.

That being said, I thank the Inspector for her participation.