Leahy, NSAC pleased Senate rejects rescission package | TheFencePost.com

Leahy, NSAC pleased Senate rejects rescission package

-The Hagstrom Report

The Senate on Wednesday rejected President Donald Trump's proposed rescission package to cut spending that Congress had already approved by a vote of 48 to 50.

"The Senate has reinforced the bipartisan, bicameral budget deal struck by Congress four months ago by rejecting President Trump's shortsighted rescission package," Senate Appropriations Committee ranking member Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said in a news release. "The message that this vote sends at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue will be heard loudly and clearly.

"Here in the Senate, we are committed to making the appropriations process work again," Leahy continued. "The Appropriations Committee has reported seven bipartisan appropriations bills, and we will consider three more tomorrow in committee. This week, we are considering three of those bipartisan bills on the Senate floor. Rejecting the rescission bill will allow us to continue that work.

"President Trump's rescission package was an unnecessary distraction from this progress," he added.

Earlier in the day, Leahy had urged a vote against the package, saying it would damage many programs and hit rural America hard.

"In a continued push to leave rural America behind, Trump's rescission package would cut millions of dollars from rural development programs," Leahy said. "These programs help to ensure that the same basic services are offered in rural areas that are offered in urban areas – things we all rely on, like schools, health care clinics and police stations."

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National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Policy Director Greg Fogel said, "We applaud all the senators who helped to defeat this brazen attack on the farm bill. If passed, the rescissions package would have cut $550 million from farm bill conservation programs, as well as $15 million from the Value Added Producer Grants program, which catalyzes entrepreneurship and job growth in food-producing communities. We sincerely hope that there will be no move to reconsider rescissions before this Friday's deadline."

NSAC had lobbied against the bill, arguing that in addition to cutting $15 million from the Value Added Producer Grants program, it would have cut $157 million from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and $35 million from the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.