Trump budget would slash crop insurance funds for farmers

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump’s desire for military parade: ‘We have a Napoleon in the making’ MORE ‘s budget proposes cutting funding for popular crop subsidies by a third, months after a Republican senator said Trump had promised not to make any cuts to the program.

The proposed budget, unveiled Monday, would cut $26 billion from the subsidies over 10 years, according to Agriculture.com.

And the average premium subsidy under the program would drop from 62 percent to 48 percent, according to McClatchy.

Advocates for the crop insurance program say that it’s essential for farmers who purchase the insurance. The fundings helps subsidize coverage for farmers who face underperforming crops.

However, critics of the program have called it bloated and claim that farmers take advantage of the protections to avoid taking measures to prevent losses.

Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsPat Robertson recovering from stroke GOP senator relieved Trump didn’t mention NAFTA Senate Republicans call on Trump to preserve NAFTA MORE (R-Kan.), who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, said in September that Trump had committed to not touching the subsidies.

“I did get the backing of the President of the United States for that about two or three weeks ago, and we were able to convince the president it was a very valuable and needed program,” Roberts said.

Roberts said in a statement after the budget release that he “will hold [Trump] to his work” despite the proposed cuts and that he plans to include funding for crop insurance in the upcoming farm bill.

Trump had also said that he supports crop insurance during a speech at the American Farm Bureau’s annual convention in January.

“I’m looking forward to working with Congress to pass the farm bill on time so that it delivers for all of you and I support a bill that includes crop insurance,” Trump said at the time. “We’re working hard on the farm bill and I think it’s going to go well.”

Some farmers groups ripped the proposed cuts. The American Soybean Association said in a statement Tuesday that the cuts “make this budget a non-starter.”

“As the farm economy continues to struggle in its recovery, farmers cannot afford these backbreaking cuts. And while we understand that the White House budget is considered by many to be an illustrative policy document, we are concerned that this approach only emboldens those in Congress that would see these programs significantly reduced or entirely eliminated,” ASA president John Heisdorffer said in the statement.

“We strongly urge Congress to push this budget to the side and continue to advance practical farm policy,” he continued.