GAO releases analysis of Thrifty Food Plan update Republicans requested
The Government Accountability Office on Wednesday released its analysis of the Biden administration’s update of the Thrifty Food Plan.
GAO’s evaluation was undertaken at the request of Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee on Agriculture and Nutrition, and Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Pa., current ranking member and chairman-elect of the House Agriculture Committee.
“This report shows the problems with this process are far greater than USDA merely cutting corners. It is evident that the department’s political leadership set out to achieve a predetermined outcome and purposefully ignored important steps in the process that would get in their way. This is the opposite of good governance, and it shows that poor decision-making happens when the administration operates in a vacuum without proper oversight,” said Boozman.
“For USDA, sidestepping Congress seems to have become a habit, but today’s report from GAO details a particularly egregious effort to pull the wool over the eyes of the public as it relates to the Thrifty Food Plan ipdate. USDA failed to fully disclose its rationale for decisions, to document its process and outcomes, and to sufficiently analyze the impacts of its choices, leaving taxpayers to foot the $256 billion bill. I am grateful to Comptroller [Gene] Dodaro and his team for looking into this,” said Thompson.
Republican members of the Senate Agriculture Committee declined to hold a hearing on President Biden’s nomination of Stacy Dean to be the agriculture undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services, until it received the report. President Biden’s nomination of Dean, who serves as the deputy undersecretary, will expire at the end of the year and he will have to nominate her again if he still wants to offer her the post.