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May 23, 2023
GOP USDA budget cuts criticized by Rural Voices USA

Rural Voices USA, an organization that promotes the interests of rural Americans, is criticizing a House GOP proposal to cut USDA FY24 funding.

The organization warns the zeroing-out of USDA rural funding would harm rural interests.

Rural Voices USA logo horizontalChris Gibbs, president of the Sheridan, Wyoming-based organization, released a statement following the House GOP proposal to slash fiscal 2024 funding for USDA by one-third.

“It’s hard to watch lawmakers who largely represent rural communities gut funding that goes directly to those same rural communities,” Gibbs said in a news release. “By slashing funding for the USDA budget by one-third, the House GOP is showing how backward their priorities are.

“Instead of allowing rural communities to play a meaningful role in industries of the future, like home-grown biofuels for the consumer, industry, and aviation, this proposal would leave rural communities behind,” Gibbs said in the release. “Rural communities cannot stay silent as proposals like this zero-out investments that would give rural areas a fighting chance to stay relevant economically in the future.”

The House of Representatives’ Republican FY24 bill proposes a 56% reduction in benefits for children and a 70% drop for women, according to the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA). With the budget decision, children will receive only $11 a month for fruits and vegetables beginning in October.

If enacted, the impact of the cuts are not limited to women and children. Produce growers and retailers could lose $1.2 billion worth of fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be available to WIC participants, according to IFPA.

Rural Voices is a 501 (c)4 non-profit bipartisan nationwide network of rural leaders working to ensure rural Americans receive a voice in policies that impact their livelihoods. The organization organizes rural Americans to advocate, communicate and hold policymakers accountable for rural issues. Through championing pro-growth rural policies, Rural Voices fights for farmers, small businesses, rural families and rural communities, which it calls the backbone of rural America.

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