President Bush’s proposed budget is receiving criticism because it reduces funding to the U-S Department of Agriculture by nine-percent. Democrat Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says “the President’s agricultural budget fails to meet the critical needs of American agriculture and rural communities.” Republican Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says that’s just politics.There’s four percent growth across the board, while some programs get more money, others less. Grassley says many of the items in last year’s U-S-D-A budget were one-time items, so they didn’t need to be accounted for in the new spending plan. Grassley says he’s confidant farming will not suffer under the proposal.Bush’s plan calls for a 23-million dollar increase in meat and poultry inspection and safety programs and a 179-million dollar boost for the U-S-D-A’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Also, 300 new inspection workers are being hired for U-S international airports to guard against hoof and mouth disease.
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