Last week, the President released his FY14 Budget Request, which disproportionately hits USDA Rural Housing and Rural Development programs. In response, NRHC sent this letter to USDA Secretary Vilsack, using the Department of seeking to eliminate these highly successful programs. Our letter was picked up by the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, among other publications.
In the letter, Bob argues that between 2010 and 2013, USDA cut Rural Development programs by more than $750 million. This substantial and disproportionate cut represents 19 percent of all cuts made to USDA over the same period. The President’s Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) Budget piles on even further by proposing an additional $200 million in reductions, despite the fact that the budget includes more than $300 million in savings from USDA Loan programs. If the President’s Budget is approved, Rural Development programs will be cut by over $1 billion in the past 4 years.
“USDA should acknowledge that Rural Development is a low priority for the Department,” said Bob Rapoza, Executive Secretary of the National Rural Housing Coalition. “And for that reason, it is obvious to me that these programs are the first on the chopping block and always available to offset increases for other programs and activities that are deemed more important.”