OMB director quizzed on USDA cuts

President Trump’s Office of Management and Budget Director heard criticism Tuesday about proposed USDA program cuts.

During a House Budget Committee meeting, Washington State Congresswoman Suzan DelBene criticized the proposed elimination of almost a thousand Farm Service Agency employees and more than 900 USDA Rural Development employees.  “We already know that access is hard.  I’ve heard that from my farmers directly.  I just heard it from a farmer last night, so I’d appreciate more information on that.”

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney admitted he was more familiar with other aspects of the Trump budget and couldn’t adequately address her FSA question. “While I have received some questions about some of the farm supplement and subsidy programs, I’ve not received that exact question before, so I apologize if I’m only going to be able to give you half an answer.  I’m not satisfied with half an answer, so I want to give you a full answer in writing afterward.”

DelBene says the staff reductions are a bad idea, saying busy farmers shouldn’t have to drive three counties away to seek FSA office services.


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