Perdue Has No Answer For Trump’s Agriculture Budget Cuts

Secretary Perdue is testifying before Congress today, where he has to try to defend Trump’s disastrous budget cuts to the Department of Agriculture, which will only further hurt farmers.

Trump’s budget significantly cuts agricultural funding, including $57.7 billion from key farm programs like crop insurance.

Politico: “The blueprint also would cut $57.7 billion in mandatory agricultural spending by 2030, like lowering crop insurance subsidies, tightening eligibility for farm payments and gashing conservation programs — similar to Trump’s previous budget requests.”

Washington Post: “The budget would also reduce federal crop insurance subsidies, with a projected savings of $25 billion over 10 years. The subsidies protect farmers against loss of crops from natural disasters or loss of revenue because of declines in the prices of agricultural commodities.”

Trump’s budget guts funding for nutrition assistance and doubles down on regulatory moves that could negatively impact millions of families.

CBS MoneyWatch: “In some cases, the administration may not require budgetary changes to pare spending. Take the food stamp program, which has been targeted by new and proposed rules from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. About 5.3 million households could lose or see reduced food-stamp benefits under those new rules without any budget vote by Congress… Under the proposed budget, spending for the SNAP program would be pared by almost $182 billion through 2030.”

Politico: “Harvest boxes are back… again: The White House will re-up its call for replacing some SNAP benefits with a monthly ‘harvest box’ of nonperishable foods like peanut butter and canned fruit — an idea widely panned by anti-hunger advocates and repeatedly rejected by lawmakers.”

Trump’s budget would cut the budget of the USDA’s Economic Research Service by more than a quarter and further reduce its staff.

Politico: “Nearly two-thirds of the positions at the Economic Research Service remain unfilled five months after the Agriculture Department moved the agency from Washington to the Kansas City area, creating major staffing holes leading to difficulties in carrying out even basic functions… Meanwhile, the White House continues calling for steep cuts to the agency’s funding and staff levels. President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2021 budget request again calls for squeezing the number of full-time ERS positions from 329 to 187 and slashing funding by nearly 27 percent.”

Trump called for significant cuts to the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service as well as the agency’s conservation programs.

Science Mag: “U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Agricultural Research Service: a cut of 12%, or $190 million, to $1.435 billion”

Mother Jones: “The budget would also slice about 10 percent—$9.1 billion over 10 years—from the US Department of Agriculture’s conservation programs, which provide farmers with incentives to use practices that keep soil in place and reduce water pollution.”