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Trump’s proposed 2018 budget draws comments

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The Trump administration today released the details of its fiscal year 2018 proposed budget. In March, the Trump administration proposed a 21% reduction to USDA discretionary spending.

Today’s budget proposal reportedly cuts spending on mandatory farm bill programs by $228 billion, according to Politico.

Here’s a sampling of comments we’ve received:

“We support the Trump administration’s goal of achieving 3% economic growth for our nation,” said Agriculture Committee Chairmen Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Rep. K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, in a joint statement. “As we debate the budget and the next farm bill, we will fight to ensure farmers have a strong safety net so this key segment of our economy can weather current hard times and continue to provide all Americans with safe, affordable food. Also, as a part of farm bill discussions, we need to take a look at our nutrition assistance programs to ensure that they are helping the most vulnerable in our society.”

The Trump budget cuts $16.2 billion in crop insurance subsidies over a decade, according to Politico. The government, on average, pays 60% of crop insurance premiums for farmers. The budget also eliminates a policy that allows farmers to guarantee revenue based on harvest prices.

“Weakening crop insurance and making it more difficult for farmers to bounce back during tough times will jeopardize rural jobs and will find little support in rural America or on Capitol Hill,” the American Association of Crop Insurers, Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau, Crop Insurance Professionals Association, Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, National Association of Professional Insurance Agents and National Crop Insurance Services said in a joint statement. “The rural economy is already suffering through a period of low prices and a multitude of spring weather disasters. Yet, the administration’s budget proposal targets the primary tool farmers use to handle these risks.

“Destructive cuts to crop insurance have been proposed by past administrations and soundly rejected by Congressional leaders, who recognize the importance of maintaining a strong farm safety net. We fully expect that to be the case again this year, and we are hopeful to engage in meaningful dialogue about how to support America’s hardworking farmers and ranchers in difficult times like these.”

Source: Senate Agriculture Committee, National Crop Insurance Services

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