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White House Budget Proposes Cuts to USDA

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

(North American Meat Institute)

The White House released its annual budget , which proposes cutting USDA funding by $4.7 billion to $17.9 billion. The proposed 21 percent cut would target discretionary spending, which would affect funding for food safety, rural development and conservation programs and international food aid. The proposal would save $498 million by eliminating a rural water and wastewater loan and grant program, which the White House said was duplicative. In addition, the proposal would eliminate the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program, which provides donations of U.S. agricultural commodities to food-deficit countries. Other USDA areas targeted for cuts include its statistical capabilities and staffing at its county-level service centers.

Furthermore, the budget blueprint does not cover "mandatory" spending established by law, such as farm subsidies, and calls for $6.2 billion in funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The proposal does include full funding for the Food Safety and Inspection Service with no proposed user fees.

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