There were no surprises by the governments proposed budget cuts in the government programs. Read more here…
The House Appropriations Committee approved next year’s agricultural appropriations bill, which funds programs within the Department of Agriculture and related agencies.
R.J. Karney (AFBF Appropriations Specialist) says: This funding covers all of USDA’s mandatory and discretionary funding and that includes direct payments, rural development, broadband expansion, forest service, Food and Drug Administration, food safety. He also says the bill’s $125.5 billion total is a cut of more than 13 percent from last year’s level.
In this fiscal time, we know there are going to be budgetary cuts and agriculture expects cuts to occur, but we need to ensure that they’re proportionate to the other cuts as well. Overall, this bill resulted in a 13.4 percent reduction in discretionary spending from the fiscal year 2011 which puts this spending bill below the 2008 levels.
Karney says there are also provisions of the bill Farm Bureau doesn’t like. “We have major concerns regarding this piece of legislation. The first is regarding U.S.D.A inspectors going to horse processing facilities. The second is a 50 percent, drastic cut of the direct payments, which our farmers and ranchers have already seen in the 2008 farm bill. And the third is regarding livestock and poultry marketing . We want USDA to be able to review the 60,000 comments that were provided and also continue the economic analysis regarding this procedural rule.” Farm Bureau will fight against those provisions when the bill comes up for a vote before the entire House. AFBF will tackle unwelcome provisions in the agriculture appropriations bill. “We need to be engaged in trying to change these amendments that were adopted when it comes up on the House floor.
Miller: In the second extra actuality he talks about the provisions dealing with direct payments.” Rep. Flake’s amendment prohibits funds for direct payments to people or legal entities with an average adjusted gross income exceeding $250,000. Farm Bureau is strongly opposed to this amendment because it believes the Agriculture Committee which has the jurisdiction over direct payments in the farm bill should be handling this issue. The payment limits on direct payments were just reduced in the 2008 farm bill to $500,000. So there’s already been a reduction in direct payments for recipients.
Director of Media Development
American Farm Bureau Federation