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Ranking Member Stabenow Statement on President Trump's Budget Cuts to Farm Bill Programs and Rural Development

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry released the following statement in response to the Trump administration’s fiscal year 2018 budget request. The proposal guts funding from Farm Bill programs by $231 billion, on top of slashing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) by 21 percent.

“President Trump’s budget proposal would leave our farmers, families, and rural communities vulnerable in tough times.

"The proposed cuts to important farm and family safety net programs, including crop insurance and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, are harsh and short sighted. By zeroing out critical funding for rural infrastructure and job-creating programs, the budget proposal neglects the needs of every small town in rural America.

"In the last Farm Bill, we passed bipartisan reforms that saved taxpayers billions more than expected.  If enacted, this proposal would make it nearly impossible for Congress to pass a new Farm Bill and provide farmers, families, and rural communities with the certainty and support they need.

"I am also concerned this budget request does not come close to meeting the needs of our financial regulators, like the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. If we are serious about having financial markets that work for our nation's farmers, manufacturers, and consumers, we need a strong, effective cop on the beat.

"Given the fragile state of the rural and farm economy, I will oppose these cuts and work on a bipartisan basis to pass a Farm Bill that strengthens support for agriculture and our rural communities.”