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Delegation Takes Issue with Cuts to Farm Programs
North Dakota Ag Connection - 02/20/2018

Cuts to farm programs, particularly crop insurance, in President Trump's proposed $4.4 trillion budget are getting a cool reception from North Dakota's congressional delegation.

U.S. Senators John Hoeven, R-ND, and Heidi Heitkamp, D-ND, as well as Congressman Kevin Cramer, R-ND, say they will work to preserve funding for farm programs as Congress now begins the task of crafting spending legislation.

"Farmers and ranchers suffering from the ongoing drought need a stronger safety net, but this budget would cut crop insurance and put our farm economy at risk," Heitkamp said in a statement following the budget's release Monday, Feb. 12. The budget would reduce the average premium subsidy for crop insurance from 62 percent to 48 percent and put an income cap on commodity, conservation, and crop insurance subsidies.

Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Ag Appropriations Committee, issued a statement saying, "The president's budget proposal shows strong support for rebuilding our military, securing our border, helping communities challenged by opioid addiction and caring for our veterans, all priorities that we share. However, I'm concerned that the president's budget proposal doesn't do enough to support our nation's farmers and ranchers. Our producers continue to face challenges from low commodity prices and natural disasters - from devastating droughts to hurricanes - which is why we need to prioritize funding for USDA programs including crop insurance, the Conservation Reserve Program and rural development."

Cramer issued a statement saying, "I believe some of the budget cuts requested - particularly the drastic cuts aimed at the federal crop insurance program and other farm programs - are ill advised and fail to address the biggest underlying causes of our nation's debt. I look forward to working with the administration to address these concerns. Everyone should remember it is Congress which holds the power of the purse and we will continue to address the federal deficit and budget priorities accordingly."

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