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Ranking Member Stabenow Statement on Proposed Budget Cuts to Agriculture and Rural Development

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, 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, which proposes steep cuts to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):

“I strongly oppose the Trump administration’s proposed budget that cuts programs that are critical to farmers, ranchers and families in small towns across America.

“In the last Farm Bill, we passed responsible bipartisan reforms that saved taxpayers billions more than expected. This budget proposal puts farmers and families in small towns and rural communities at risk. It's deeply troubling that the Trump administration targets the Department of Agriculture for cuts averaging 21 percent - the third largest cut to any federal agency.

“This proposal undermines job creation by eliminating access to credit for small businesses and completely ends rural water infrastructure programs that could leave small towns without clean drinking water or safe sewer systems.

“The Trump administration neglects to clarify all of the areas that will be cut. This puts a target on hundreds of critical USDA programs and services that rely on annually appropriated funds, and could lead to cuts as high as 33 percent to agriculture research and extension, conservation planning, wildfire prevention, and efforts to fight avian influenza and other threats to our food system.

“As we move forward on the budget process, I will oppose these cuts and instead, continue to work in a bipartisan way to strengthen support for agriculture and our rural communities.“