President Trump submitted his budget proposal to Congress this week in which he calls for cuts to key agricultural programs including an 8% reduction in funding for the discretionary budget of the U. S. Department of Agriculture and a significant cut crop insurance and agricultural subsidies. In addition, other domestic agencies would see reductions while military spending will not.

The proposal will also include $2 billion in additional funding for the border wall, as well as an increase for the Customs and Border Protection agency, while also reducing funding for the Department of Labor and Department of State which play key roles in the immigration and visa process for agricultural employers. Congress is not likely to embrace the budget proposal, particularly the large cuts to the Department of Agriculture and the increased funding for the border wall currently under construction.

Congress will now begin its work on the 2021 federal budget with the hopes of securing a budget agreement prior to the November elections.  It is not likely that Congress will embrace the budget proposal, particularly the large cuts to the Department of Agriculture and the increased funding for the border wall currently under construction.

In response to the President’s proposal, House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota stated, “We will make sure that the farm bill isn’t cut during this year’s budget process. What’s worse is the President is proposing all these cuts without any attempt to balance the budget.”

“The past year has brought serious economic damage to farmers and rural communities, yet the Administration is proposing to cut billions in programs that they count on in many different ways.  This budget also continues to short-change the funding needed to provide adequate service to USDA customers in field offices.”

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue issued the following statement:

“The United States is leading the world in economic growth and prosperity. President Trump’s pro-growth policies like tax cuts, common-sense deregulation, and new trade deals have increased confidence in the economy and put hard earned money back into the pockets of Americans,” said Secretary Perdue. “President Trump’s budget continues to reign in an overgrown Federal government with fiscally responsible cuts in spending. USDA is doing its part to improve our customer service while reducing our economic and regulatory impact. We will continue to serve and deliver our programs on behalf of America’s farmers, ranchers, producers, foresters, and the food insecure with improved customer service and respect for taxpayer dollars.”