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Maura Bennett Lawmakers react to steep cuts proposed for USDA
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: March 14, 2019

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Lawmakers from ag states are reacting strongly to the White House's recent budget request. It calls for a 15 percent cut to USDA programs in fiscal year 2020.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota said "The President's budget request is a road map for how to make things worse for farmers, ranchers and those who live in rural communities," Peterson had recently told Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue he was concerned about potential cuts of 5 percent - a third of Trump’s actual request. Ranking member Michael Conaway of Texas also expressed concerns about the budget before these cuts were proposed.

Peterson this week pointed to $26 billion in cuts to crop insurance; $9 billion in cuts to successful, voluntary conservation programs; $5 billion in cuts to programs that help purchase commodities when times are bad; $8 billion in cuts to programs that help ranchers recover grazing lands hurt by drought; another attempt to cut SNAP; elimination of the Rural Energy and Rural Economic Development programs ."

Rep. Peterson said "Either the White House doesn't understand why these programs are important, or they don't care.

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