The future of the Peoria Ag Lab is again in doubt.
The National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria is among research laboratories slated to be closed under President Trump’s proposed 2019 budget. That’s according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Budget and Program Analysis.
A previous Trump budget proposal last May also included the closure of the Peoria Ag Lab. But funding for the facility was included in an agriculture appropriations bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee.
Reacting to the Ag Lab closing proposal and other items in the Trump budget, Democratic 17th District U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos said it would “kill nearly 200 good-paying jobs in Peoria.”
“President Trump’s budget is a disaster for hardworking families across the heartland and I’m going to fight tooth and nail to stop it,” Bustos said in a statement released by her office.
“If (Trump’s) goal was to punch middle America in the gut, then this budget hits the mark with one broken promise after another,” Bustos said. “Whether it’s undermining Peoria’s economy by closing the Ag Lab, defunding a program that supported Rockford in creating a skills pipeline to help create jobs or eliminating another program that is largely responsible for funding the Q Multimodal station in Moline – the Trump budget would hurt the hardworking families I serve. And by ripping $26 billion out of the crop insurance program, President Trump is signaling to farmers across the heartland that they’re on their own if disaster strikes.”
Republican 18th District U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood of Dunlap released the following statement Tuesday:
“Peoria’s Ag Lab, and the researchers employed there, continue to serve a vital role in our local community and I am disappointed to see that the White House once again propose it to be cut. We must remember that the President’s budget proposal is just that—a proposal—and Congress holds the ultimate power of the purse. Similar to last year, this will remain a top priority for me to work in a bipartisan and bicameral way at the local, state, and federal levels to maintain funding for the lab and ensure the facility remains an integral part of Peoria and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s research efforts.”
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