Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert said President Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget would have a devastating effect on farmers.
The White House on Monday released a budget proposal for 2020 which seeks to fund a border wall with Mexico and increase military spending while dramatically reducing spending on domestic programs.
The budget calls for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to receive $20.8 billion, which would represent a 15 percent funding cut from 2019 levels. The administration is targeting safety net programs such as food assistance and commodity subsidies.
Guebert said the funding cuts would be especially tough on farmers who have endured five consecutive years of declining farm income.
“The fact we passed the 2018 Farm Bill with overwhelming bipartisan support last December and now to see proposed budgets that would cripple farmers' vital risk management tools combined with critical funding for conservation practices – is devastating,” Guebert said in a statement.
“Farmers have faced an enormous amount of uncertainty over the past year and this does not help family farms make plans for the future, ” he said.
Trump's acting budget chief Russ Vought said the administration has "prioritized reining in reckless Washington spending."
Democrats aren't buying it. The chairman of the House Budget Committee, congressman John Yarmuth of Kentucky, calls the proposed cuts to essential services "dangerous."
Congress' top Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate leader Chuck Schumer, predict that Trump's latest demand for border wall money will result in another defeat for the president. They say the money would be better spent on rebuilding the country.
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