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Trump Administration Looks to Cut 21% of Agriculture's Budget

Trump Administration Looks to Cut 21% of Agriculture's Budget

The President's budget calls for cuts in conservation programs and food aid, county-level staff, rural water initiatives and some NASS reports.

Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee Mike Conaway, R- Midland, was quick to point out that this was merely an initial proposal, and said Congress is working through its own budget policies and priorities.

"Without it, we wouldn't have air service" in Thief River Falls, Hedrick said, adding other rural cities that use EAS funds may have to close their airports. Net farm income has dropped 50 per cent in the last four years-the largest four-year percentage decrease since the Great Depression.

"While we do not yet have a full-fledged financial crisis in rural America, a good many farmers and ranchers are not going to be able to cash-flow in 2017", the groups wrote.

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"We are committed to offering substantive proposals and ideas, and look forward to further opportunities to work with the administration and its trade team as they develop specific strategies for engaging in trade negotiations with our most important trading partners. A well fed world is a safer world".

The cuts are meant to allow more funding to shift to Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security and defense.

These cuts are proposed as the USDA continues to sit without its Secretary.

These and other stark domestic program cuts to government agencies are needed to pay for the president's plan to spend untold billions of dollars expanding the military and securing the nation's border with Mexico to curtail illegal immigration, said Mick Mulvaney, White House budget director. That includes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which would see its spending cut by 16 percent, according to her statement.

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The proposal can not touch long-term spending on widely used programs like food stamps or crop insurance.

John Newton, a director for the American Farm Bureau, said farmers and ranchers are already struggling to make a living and "now is not the time to make even deeper cuts" to such services as statistics on crop prices and the number of local U.S. Department of Agriculture offices.

"Cuts to the water and wastewater loan grant program are wrongly portrayed as duplicative when they are the only ways for small rural communities to update their water systems", he said in a statement.

The Trump administration's $6.2 billion or 13 percent cut to the Department of Housing and Urban Development would be the biggest hit that agency has taken since President Ronald Reagan slashed it in the early 1980s, said the National Low Income Housing Coalition. But Verett said it does indicate what the administration's priorities are, and he said it doesn't appear to be agriculture. The lone Democrat, U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, said, "This budget cuts investments in programs that have a proven record of creating jobs and growing the economy." Sen.

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Robert Lascano, the acting research leader at the USDA here in Lubbock, also hammered home the fact that this was merely a recommended bill sent to Congress by the Trump administration. There will be additional cuts to the Women, Infants and Children nutrition assistance program.