Farmers and ranchers are concerned about President Trump’s “Taxpayer First” budget released this week but Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue defended significant cuts to USDA in the name of balancing the budget.
“I don’t think there’s any reason to sugar coat this,” Perdue said to reporters on a press call Tuesday. “But I believe the people knew what they were doing when they elected President Trump…I think many believe as I do – I just don’t think it’s moral to continue to kick a $20 trillion debt down to our grandchildren.”
The budget cuts USDA staff, crop insurance, conservation programs, and food assistance and eliminates funding for some programs including the Market Access Program (MAP), Foreign Market Development (FMD) program and the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. Joining Perdue on the call was Acting Deputy Secretary and Budget Officer Michael Young, who ran USDA for the first four months of this year and was the one who actually worked on the budget before Secretary Perdue was confirmed. He explained the budget cuts and answered all of the reporters’ questions.
Perdue and Young will both testify before the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Agriculture today at 10 am Eastern time.
Listen to the press conference here. USDA budget presser