The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee proposed a bill cutting USDA funding by more than $9 billion below 2023 levels.
The FY2024 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Bill provides funding of $17.2 billion which cuts funding levels back to what it was in 2006.
Opponents of the bill say that it would hurt America’s farmers if passed.
“I am extremely disappointed that this bill will shortchange America’s rural and underserved communities, restricting their ability to access water and waste systems, nutritious food and affordable electricity,” says Representative Sanford Bishop Jr., D-Georia, the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee ranking member “The federal government should be a steadfast partner for smaller communities whose budgets cannot meet the large, upfront costs of critical quality-of-life projects. Unfortunately, these cuts will hurt the most vulnerable and blunt the forward progress being made to grow our economy for everyone.”
According to the Appropriations Committee Democrats, the legislation:
Nathan Bowen, advocacy and public affairs vice president at the Irrigation Association, says that the cuts are wide-ranging and of great concern.
“While no one expects this legislation to become law due to strong opposition from the administration and Democrats in the Senate, cuts of this magnitude would have significant impacts on USDA’s ability to deliver programs to rural America and would inject even more political brinkmanship into the process,” he says. “Reducing funding to USDA by nearly $9 billion could seriously detrimentally impact the irrigation industry.”
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