Preliminary Trump Administration budget calls for 21% cut to USDA
The Washington Post is reporting details of the proposed Trump Administration budget, which includes a 21% cut to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is the third-highest budget cut among all U.S. departments, behind the Environmental Protection Agency (31%) and the State Department (29%). The Labor Department is also facing a proposed 21% reduction. The proposal only covers discretionary, and not mandatory, spending.
The White House Office of management and Budget’s 2018 spending blueprint calls for $17.9 billion to fund the USDA, a decrease of $4.7 billion. Mandatory programs like crop subsidies for farmers and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka “food stamps”) are left largely intact. The Post reports that little information has been provided as to how the USDA is to carry out the cuts.
Part of the cuts include elimination of the water and waste-disposal loan and grant program, the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education Program, as well as aspects of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service. The Agricultural Research Service may face some cuts to focus on “the highest priority agriculture and food issues, such as increasing farm productivity, sustaining natural resources . . . and addressing food safety and nutrition priorities.” The USDA will also reduce its workforce by an unspecified amount.
For more information, go to the Post’s report on the USDA: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/trump-seeks-47-billion-in-cuts-to-usda-discretionary-spending/2017/03/15/c8fd5622-09ab-11e7-b77c-0047d15a24e0_story.html?utm_term=.5ddec1fb0f0a
Source: Washington Post