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    US FSA Recalls 2,500 Staff to Reopen Offices During Shutdown - Agriculture Chief

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US Farm Service Agency (FSA) will recall 2,500 workers to reopen its offices temporarily for three days over the coming week, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a press release on Wednesday.

    "US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that many Farm Service Agency offices will reopen temporarily in the coming days to perform certain limited services for farmers and ranchers," the release said.

    The Department of Agriculture has recalled about 2,500 FSA employees to open offices on Thursday, January 17 and Friday, January 18, in addition to Tuesday, January 22, during normal business hours, the release explained.

    "Until Congress sends President Trump an appropriations bill in the form that he will sign, we are doing our best to minimize the impact of the partial federal funding lapse on America’s agricultural producers," Perdue said in the release.

    READ MORE: Pelosi Asks Trump to Delay State of Union Address Until Shutdown Crisis Resolved

    In almost half of FSA locations, FSA staff will be available to assist agricultural producers with existing farm loans and to ensure the agency provides tax documents to borrowers by the Internal Revenue Service’s deadline, the release said.

    The partial shutdown of the US government started on 22 December after congressional Democrats refused to approve a spending bill that allocated $5.7 billion to build a wall on the southern border that President Donald Trump has demanded.

    READ MORE: Backing for US Border Wall Hits Record High Among Republicans — Poll

    The shutdown so far has cost the US economy around $3.6 billion, Standard & Poor's Chief US Economist Beth Ann Bovino said in a statement on Friday. The S&P estimate also indicates that a shutdown lasting for two more weeks would cost the US economy nearly $6 billion, exceeding the $5.7 billion sought by Trump for his much-anticipated border wall project.

    READ MORE: Govt Shutdown Exacerbates Decline of US Housing Market — Wall Street Analyst

    Tags:
    government shutdown, US Department of Agriculture (USDA), US Farm Service Agency (FSA)
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