Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement in response to the Obama Administration's effort to intentionally undermine government operations in order to score political points:
"This email confirms what many Americans have suspected: The Obama Administration is doing everything they can to make sure their worst predictions come true and to maximize the pain of the sequester cuts for political gain. Instead of cutting waste, the Obama Administration is hurting workers. President Obama should stop protecting wasteful government spending."
According to an internal email, Charles Brown, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS) eastern regional director, asked his superiors about how much flexibility he had in trimming his program's budget in light of the sequester. The response from the Obama Administration was clear:
"We have gone on record with a notification to Congress and whoever else that "APHIS would eliminate assistance to producers in 24 States in managing wildlife damage to the aquaculture industry, unless they provide funding to cover the costs.' So, it is our opinion that however you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be." (emphasis added)
That response, according to Brown's email, came from someone in the USDA's Office of Budget and Program Analysis (OBPA), which is responsible for "coordinating the preparation of the Department's budget estimates, legislative reports and regulations. OBPA provides direction and administration of the Department's budgetary functions including development, presentation, and administration of the budget," according to the agency's website.