Statement on Trump Administration Proposed USDA Budget
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, released the following statement on the Trump Administration’s proposed USDA budget:
Rural America deserves a better budget. By cutting essential programs for rural businesses, housing, and more, this proposal severely weakens USDA Rural Development’s ability to support rural communities. I also have many questions about the Administration's alarming SNAP proposal, which would terminate SNAP nutrition education and make it harder for recipients to access a wide variety of healthy foods.
I am concerned by how farmers would fare under the proposed budget due to the reductions in funding for important conservation programs and farm loans. And while I am glad to see a funding increase for the National Organic Program to improve enforcement of the organic label, I’m troubled by the way this budget simultaneously suggests cutting other programs that support two of the fastest-growing agricultural markets—organic and local food.
In so many ways, this proposed budget for USDA—with its nearly 25 percent cut to discretionary programs—looks much like the damaging plan that the Administration put forth last year. Thankfully, the House Appropriations Committee worked in a bipartisan way to restore much of that funding in legislation it passed through the Committee last year, and I am optimistic we can do so again.