USDA today released the following statement correcting inaccurate reporting on sequester related emails regarding the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS):
"Several reports today have misrepresented a USDA effort to explain the impacts of budget cuts to an employee in USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Here are the facts: Recently, a member of the APHIS field staff suggested to the agency's budget officers that budget cuts in the APHIS Wildlife Services program could be spread out across 24 states in a particular region in order to avoid furloughs. The budget officers explained that the employee's suggestion had already been communicated to Congress as part of the Administration's FY2013 budget proposal and will be included as part of the sequestration plan. To be clear, the APHIS budget officer explained that USDA is already proposing these steps in order to avoid furloughs. USDA is committed to doing all we can to minimize the impact of sequester our employees and the farmers, ranchers, and rural communities we serve."