U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) secured a commitment from the nominee to be White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director, Russ Vought, to review concerns raised by farmers in North Dakota about bureaucrats in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ignoring planting violation regulations. Their exchange came during a Senate Budget Committee hearing last week on Mr. Vought’s nomination.
“While there are many examples of cumbersome bureaucracy, the struggle between federal agencies, landowners, farmers, and ranchers over water management continues to prove frustrating. One example is a technical and often overlooked issue with USDA,” said Senator Cramer. “In short, farmers are following the agency’s rules, but the agency is not.”
Leaders in North Dakota’s agricultural community – including the North Dakota Farmers Union, North Dakota Farm Bureau, North Dakota Corn Growers Association, North Dakota Grain Growers Association, North Dakota Soybean Growers Association, Northern Plain Potato Growers Association, and the Landowners Association of North Dakota – submitted comments to OMB in January regarding the third party exemption issue, as well as other USDA wetland enforcement problems, as part of OMB’s request for information on improving and reforming regulatory enforcement and adjudication.
Senator Cramer submitted their comments for the record during the hearing and first mentioned them to Vought during a call last month.