Perdue promises to cut budget 5 percent
October 19, 2018
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has promised to help fulfill President Donald Trump's goal of reducing agency budgets by 5 percent next year, according to media reports.
On Wednesday, Trump asked every Cabinet agency except the Pentagon to make a 5 percent cut.
"Get rid of the fat, get rid of the waste," Trump said at a meeting with cabinet members. "I'm sure everybody at this table can do it."
A USDA spokesman said, "USDA stands with the president and his goal of being fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars and will absolutely meet his target."
"When Secretary Perdue was governor of Georgia, five of the eight budgets he submitted were smaller than the previous year's," the spokesman said, according to the Food and Environment Reporting Network.
On Thursday, Perdue said "I heard President Trump very clearly. I think he's serious," talking to reporters after a school lunch event at Discovery Elementary School in Arlington, Va., Politico reported.
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"USDA will absolutely participate in that," Perdue said. "I think we'll be able to meet greater than the 5 percent target."
The 5 percent announcement followed reports that the government's budget deficit has reached a six-year high.
It is not clear whether the Trump administration can achieve the 5 percent goal. Congress, which often rejects presidential budget proposals, would have to go along with the cuts through the appropriations process.