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Secretary Perdue faces Congressional questioning over budget cuts

Photo by Dustin Hoffmann

When President Trump released his fiscal year 2020 budget, we saw another slash to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) budget. This budget has already been slashed to the bone, according to some lawmakers. Now, some feel they are trying to squeeze blood from a stone.

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue faced criticism over his department’s budget. The criticism came from House Ag Appropriations Chair Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-GA 2nd). Chairman Bishop says the plan to slash the budget further and reopen debate on some farm bill programs will not happen.

Secretary Perdue defended the position of the Trump Administration to “cut the budget deficit” and “not kick the can down the road.”

One of these plans calls for moving the offices of Economic Research Service and moving ERS and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.  Bishop called it a “solution in search of a problem.”

Secretary Perdue also called on Congress to stop tying up the disaster relief bill that many farmers need, including farmers affected by this spring’s flooding in Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri.

Also, the Secretary asked members to consider changing disaster funding language to include stored grain. Many bins in Iowa and Nebraska burst open under flooding pressure.