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May 30, 2017

Perdue assures lawmakers worried about USDA budget cuts

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue backed away from significant cuts in President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget, affirming that crop insurance and other farm programs are “extremely important.”  Making his first appearance before lawmakers who write the Agriculture Department’s annual spending bill, Perdue specifically declined to defend Trump’s proposals to cut crop insurance by $29 billion by 10 years and to eliminate the $1.7 billion Food for Peace program, which supplies U.S.-grown commodities to alleviate hunger overseas. Perdue also emphasized to the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee that he had only been on the job for five weeks and said he needed to review key budget provisions, including the proposal to cut USDA’s work force by 5.5 percent, or about 5,500 full-time jobs.  Read more

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