**House appropriators are rejecting President Trump’s proposals to slash spending on rural development, international food aid, research and other key areas of the Agriculture Department’s fiscal 2018 budget.

But a draft appropriations bill would still require cuts in some programs, providing a total of $20 billion to the USDA, the Food and Drug Administration and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, $876 million below 2017.

That total does not include so-called mandatory spending programs, such as commodity subsidies, crop insurance and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, where spending is mandated by the farm bill.

**The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers have acted officially to rescind the “waters of the U.S.,” or WOTUS, rule, by sending a proposal to withdraw it to the Federal Register.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Interior subcommittee that following withdrawal of the old rule, a proposed replacement rule would be issued by the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of 2018, at the latest.

There’s a good chance that environmental groups will challenge the withdrawal in court.

**Representatives from Beef Products Inc. and ABC News say a lawsuit over ABC’s use of the term “pink slime” in reference to lean, finely textured beef has been settled out of court.

South Dakota Circuit Judge Cheryle Gering announced the settlement at the beginning of what was to be the 18th day of the trial in Union County. Terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

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