Local News

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue does not agree with the White House on some key spending cuts in the president’s so far, unpopular USDA budget request. Those differences quickly became apparent at a House Appropriations hearing. Perdue faced a barrage of budget criticism from Democrats and Republicans on everything from cutting food stamps to eliminating international hunger programs and paring crop insurance. But that was expected at his first hearing before House Ag appropriators.

 

What wasn’t, were some of the Secretary’s responses, even as he insisted, he was representing the administration’s budget request. Connecticut’s Rosa DeLauro asked Perdue if he stood by his earlier statement defending SNAP, even as the White House proposed cutting food stamps almost 200-billion over 10-years by shifting costs to the states and tightening eligibility requirements…

 

 

Perdue insists FY ’18 SNAP is “fully funded,” while the White House proposes legislation to shift some costs to the states in later years. On ending the taxpayer-funded Food for Peace Program that buys U.S.-produced food to donate overseas, and make cash donations instead, an idea Chairman Robert Aderholt complained, makes no sense and went nowhere when the Obama White House proposed it…

 

 

On urging the White House to get behind efforts to end the Cuba trade embargo…

 

 

Perdue did stand by the White House on cuts to rural housing, infrastructure, agency staffing and a ten-year, 29-billion dollar cut in producer crop insurance subsidies…

 

 

But even in disagreeing, Perdue was agreeable, reflecting his long political experience as a governor and state lawmaker in softening disputes, diffusing controversy, and perhaps helping a controversial president advance a very tough proposition. That proposition would be shrinking the federal government.

 
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