President Trump’s 10 year budget proposal for USDA handed down on Tuesday is facing blowback on Capitol Hill, even among Republicans.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are hesitant to lower spending on the farm safety net, rural development, foreign market promotion and food aid – given the current economic environment in rural America.
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue had the task of testifying Wednesday — at the Rayburn House Office Building before the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies — regarding the proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget.
The budget was essential crafted by the White House Office of Management and Budget. Lawmakers will have the final say.
Subcommittee Chair Robert Aderholt of Alabama opened the hearing by stating the panel’s mission.
Still, Aderholt recognized the current budget environment on Capitol Hill in his opening remarks.
Subcommittee Ranking Member Bishop of Georgia used his opening remarks to express concerns about the White House’s plan to reorganize USDA.
Secretary Perdue tried to reassure the panel about the administration’s commitment to rural development, with the White House calling the reorganization an “elevation of rural development.”
House appropriators on both sides of the aisle expressed concern over losing funding for rural housing, clean drinking water and small business development under the reorganization plan.