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Senate Panel OKs Budget Reprogramming at USDA to Avoid Furloughs

USDAlogoThe Agriculture Department moved closer to avoiding furloughs after a Senate panel approved the agency’s request to reprogram funds, according to a Gov Exec article.

Kelly Lunney writes the Senate Appropriations Committee is allowing the USDA to shift funds within its rural development unit for the current fiscal year.

The reprogramming would prevent furloughs for 4,800 employees under the sequester.

A committee spokeswoman said House lawmakers could hand down a decision on the matter this week.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack previously asked Congress’ permission to use interchange transfer authority to help the department cover funding shortfall for salaries.

The authority would allow the secretary to transfer up to 7 percent from one account to another within the same agency, Michael Young, USDA’s director of budget and analysis, told Congress during a March hearing.

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