"The Department of Agriculture may have exceeded its spending authority when it moved forward with plans to relocate two of its research agencies, an inspector general review said.
The report found that while USDA had the legal authority to relocate the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, it may not have received prior approval from Congress to use funds for that purpose. USDA is calling such prior approval unconstitutional.
The highly controversial reorganization would shift department staff in the two agencies out of Washington, D.C., and into the Kansas City area.
USDA has argued that the change would help with attracting and retaining staff, would cut costs to the agency, and would put department resources closer to 'stakeholders who live and work outside the National Capitol Region.'"