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Peterson slams White House request for 15 percent cut to USDA

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota criticized the White House's recent budget request, which calls for a 15 percent cut to USDA programs in fiscal year 2020:

"The President's budget request is a road map for how to make things worse for farmers, ranchers and those who live in rural communities," Peterson said. He pointed to "$26 billion in cuts to crop insurance; $9 billion in cuts to successful, voluntary conservation programs; $5 billion in cuts to Section 32 programs that help purchase commodities in times of need; $8 billion in cuts to programs that help ranchers recover grazing lands hurt by drought; yet another attempt to cut SNAP; elimination of the Rural Energy for America and Rural Economic Development programs and billions in other cuts."

The White House proposal tells ag producers one of two things, he said. "Either the White House doesn't understand why these programs are important, or they don't care. What's more, all of these shortsighted cuts are second and third attempts to revisit policy proposals that were rejected in the farm bill negotiations. This budget was concocted by a bunch of ideologues who can't see what's clearly going on in the farm economy. The good news is this budget is going nowhere in Congress, where the bipartisan farm bill passed with 369 votes."

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