1021AgFundingCutsPendingsr.cfm Ag committees recommend $23B cut
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Ag committees recommend $23B cut


Leaders of the Congressional Agriculture Committees told the debt-deficit super committee recently that mandatory agriculture and nutrition programs should take $23 billion in cuts as part of the overall effort to cut $1.5 trillion from the federal budget.

The recommendation came Oct. 17 in a letter signed by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI); Senate Ranking Member Pat Roberts (R-KS); House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK); and House Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN).

In a statement released simultaneously by the four leaders, they indicated they will continue working together to fashion a detailed proposal for the spending cuts, which is expected to be submitted to the super committee by Nov. 1.

They noted in their letter that $23 billion in cuts is more than would be achieved through a sequestration process and would come in addition to multiple cuts to programs within their jurisdictions in recent years.

Crop insurance was cut $6 billion during the recent renegotiation of the contract between USDA and private crop insurance companies, in addition to $6 billion in cuts in the 2008 Farm Bill and $2 billion in cuts in the 2002 farm bill.

In addition, conservation programs have been cut by $3 billion during the last five years; key nutrition programs have been cut by nearly $12 billion in recent years to offset other spending; and there are 37 programs, totaling nearly $10 billion, which expire in this farm bill cycle with no baseline into future years.

The leaders also noted their effort to work on a bipartisan basis, which seems to be unique to the Agriculture Committees but will be essential to producing a legislative proposal equivalent to a 2012 farm bill that is acceptable to constituents of all agriculture-area programs.



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