PORTLAND, Maine — A group of senators including Maine’s Angus King is asking for at least $5 million in federal money to support maple syrup producers around the U.S.

King, an independent, is joining with Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow and others on the request. The senators say the Acer Access and Development Program helps maple syrup producers increase production, but President Donald Trump didn’t include funding for it in his budget proposal.

The senators are making their case to a subcommittee on agriculture, rural development, food and drug administration and related agencies. They say maple is both a source of employment for thousands and a vital crop that keeps forests in production.

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