Ag pick seeks to reassure Congress as Trump eyes farm cuts

Posted at 11:17 AM, Mar 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-23 11:18:15-04

As President Donald Trump eyes cuts to farm programs, agriculture secretary nominee Sonny Perdue says he would make government programs more efficient while also working to create jobs in the struggling industry.

At his confirmation hearing Thursday, the former Georgia governor stressed bipartisanship, reaching out to Democrats who have complained about Trump's lack of experience in agriculture and his proposed 21 percent cut to the farm budget. In prepared testimony, Perdue said in Georgia, agriculture is one of the few issues of bipartisanship.

Some Democrats have said they will support his nomination, and Perdue is expected to be confirmed easily. But the top Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee expressed frustration with the Trump administration.

Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow said "it's clear that rural America has been an afterthought."