Vilsack grilled on CCC funds, budget

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack faced heated questioning by the House Ag Appropriations subcommittee Thursday while reviewing the proposed budget for the next fiscal year.

Chair Andy Harris of Maryland testified the budget request of more than $24 billion was unrealistic and unattainable, and built on reckless unauthorized use of funds.

“You have treated the Commodity Credit Corporation like a slush fund to advance political priorities not directed by Congress,” he said.  “In 2022, you spent $6.6 billion on programs not authorized in the farm bill or other legislation, including $3.5 billion on climate.”

Harris also told the Secretary his department’s usage of Commodity Credit Corporation funds was abusive, saying the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program initiative brought forth by the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance exploited a loophole in the CCC.

“Eighty special interest groups do not run the policy of this country and that’s all I can say—Congress runs the policy,” he argued.

Vilsack countered saying Congress gave USDA the capacity to use the funds.

“It is designed to respond to challenges that are faced in agriculture, and climate’s a challenge whether you want to agree to it or not—it is a challenge and these farm groups understand that,” he affirmed.

USDA is authorized to borrow up to $30 billion from the CCC at a time.

  • And yet another get woke go broke scheme by current adminstruation to spend taxpayer dollars on something other than commodities; ehmaybe to plant more to make more oxygen and consume more CO2. This is something that plants do. Please inform the Secretary of Agriculture. Pray tell what these climate change dollars were spent on?

  • 80 Farm Groups said climate change is the top concern? Yah, cmon, is Vilsack selling land on Jupiter’s moons now? Vilsack is a bully—Sen Boozman (Ranking Member) asked him where the responses were to his many months old oversight letters? Vilsack said you send too many letters. So when someone tells Vilsack the power of the purse is literally spelled out in the Constitution to Congress—good! Unaccountable bureaucrats who justify their actions only to themselves are even worse than publicity seeking politicians.

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