President Donald Trump’s budget plan includes a $4.7 billion, or 21 percent budget cut to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The cuts would leave USDA with a $17.9 billion budget after cutting statistical and rural business services. But, the budget detail did not give any information on which specific services would be cut. The White House also said it would eliminate the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program, which donates U.S. agricultural commodities to food-deficit countries. The cuts to USDA are drawing bipartisan opposition. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX) says he is concerned the cuts could “hamper some vital work of the department.” He says farmers and ranchers are struggling, and that Congress should “do all we can” to help them. His message to agriculture was “This is the start of a larger process. It is a proposal, not the budget.” House Agriculture ranking Democrat Collin Peterson (MN) says the President’s budget request “demonstrates a lack of understanding of farm programs and their importance to rural America.” Peterson says, “The good news is this budget will be ignored, as it should be.”
The President is proposing to cut the Environmental Protection Agency budget 31 percent by eliminating one-fifth of its workforce and eliminating more than 50 programs. The proposal would drop the EPA budget from $8.1 billion to $5.7 billion. If enacted, the proposal would cease funding the Clean Power Plan, a signature Obama administration effort to combat climate change. It would cut 3,200 positions, or more than 20 percent of the agency’s current workforce of about 15,000. Funding for the massive Chesapeake Bay cleanup project, which receives $73 million each year, would be cut to zero. Funding for drinking water infrastructure would remain intact, but the agency’s scientific research would suffer massive cuts.
Source: NAFB News Service