USDA Budget Requires Cuts Because of Deficit, Vilsack Says

The federal budget deficit makes belt-tightening necessary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

“We’ve had to take a close look at the way we do business with less money, a smaller staff, and more complex programs,” Vilsack said today in testimony prepared for the House Appropriations Committee panel charged with setting spending for the department.

U.S. Department of Agriculture spending would rise 2.5 percent to $154.5 billion in the year starting Oct. 1 before crop-subsidy cuts kick in, beginning long-term reductions in farmer aid, according to the budget President Barack Obama sent to Congress on Feb. 13.

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