Cantwell, Murray Raise Concerns over President Trump’s Cuts to Rural Development

President Trump’s drastic budget cuts, coupled with plans to eliminate the USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development, would hurt small towns and rural communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) joined 27 Senate Democrats to send a letter to President Trump expressing strong concerns over recent actions that would have negative impacts on families in rural America.

Last week, President Trump issued a budget proposal calling for drastic cuts that would undermine the important rural development mission at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). These damaging cuts come on the heels of recently announced plans to eliminate the USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development, an important advocate for small towns and rural communities across the country.

In the letter, the Senators objected to the proposed cuts, and urged President Trump to maintain the Under Secretary for Rural Development.

“Small towns and rural communities embody many of our nation’s greatest strengths, and the people of these communities deserve every opportunity to raise their families with well-paying jobs and a high quality of life,” wrote the senators. “Our small towns and rural communities, however, experience unique challenges in developing and maintaining infrastructure and providing high-quality health services and education. Understanding and responding to these unique challenges to help these communities create jobs and drive economic growth is the principal mission of USDA Rural Development.”

The letter was signed by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bob Casey (D-PA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Gary Peters (D-MI), Al Franken (D-MN), Jon Tester (D-MT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Tom Carper (D-DE), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chris Coons (D-DE), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Angus King (I-ME), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

The full text of the letter can be found here.