Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue sat before the congressional panel that controls the purse strings, trying to explain the way President Trump’s proposed budget and the cuts that could impact agriculture.
Perdue, USDA chief economist Robert Johannsen, and USDA budget director Michael Young testified to members of the House Appropriations Committee Wednesday after the White House released its proposed $4 trillion budget Tuesday.
The budget, aimed at cutting federal spending, cuts $231 billion from the mandatory Farm Bill spending over 10 years.
“The 2014 Farm Bill was very wise in its construct of moving away from the direct payments into an ARC and PLC-type program,” said Perdue. “I’ll side with crop insurance, giving much of the responsibility of providing to that safety net to the farmers themselves.”
The Trump Administration wants to reduce spending on the farm safety net, government food programs, rural development, and foreign market promotion. Those cuts can only happen by rewrite of the Farm Bill.
Proposed cuts to food programs, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), drew heavy criticism from Democratic lawmakers representing urban districts.