Morning Agriculture: Behind Conaway’s Agriculture Budget Crusade — It’s Always Sonny in Atlanta

BEHIND CONAWAY’S AGRICULTURE BUDGET CRUSADE: The fate of billions of dollars for farmers and nutrition programs may have been sealed, and perhaps saved, last month behind closed doors. That was when House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway and Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black sat down one last time to hammer out a deal. While the lawmakers didn’t disclose specifics about their hand-shake agreement on that hot Thursday morning — nor was a total spending figure made public — House aides and agriculture lobbyists say Conaway was able to stave off billions in proposed spending cuts to agriculture and nutrition programs, report Pro Agriculture’s Catherine Boudreau and Helena Bottemiller Evich this morning.

The agriculture committee was initially facing around $70 billion in proposed cuts, but ended up closer to $10 billion, sources with knowledge of the discussions told POLITICO. That came after Black lowered her original goal for total mandatory spending cuts by roughly $300 billion, and Conaway persistently made the case that slashing programs under his watch would imperil the 2018 farm bill…

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