Farm Bill Issues
An update posted yesterday at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) Blog stated that, “As the two week congressional recess comes to a close and Members return to DC, attention will once again focus on the 2012 budget process. Attention in particular will focus on a possible deal from a small bipartisan group of Senators as well as on a separate small group conclave with Vice President Joe Biden scheduled for Thursday at Blair House.”
The update explained that, “The House approved its 2012 budget resolution on April 15 on a near party line vote.”
“With respect to the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill, the House budget resolution includes major assumptions about the outcome of the farm bill debate. It assumes the transformation of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (commonly referred to as food stamps) into a state block grant program, cutting $127 billion over a ten year period in the process. For farm commodity and crop insurance subsidies, it assumes a reduction of $30 billion over the next decade. Conservation programs, the next largest category of farm bill spending after nutrition programs and commodity/crop insurance subsidies, would see a reduction as well. The House-passed plan would cut government-wide environmental spending by $18 billion, though it is not possible to say how much of that reduction would be assigned to USDA or the farm bill, though undoubtedly a portion would be.
“According to House Agriculture Committee Democratic staff, the total cut to the Agriculture Committee would be 23 percent, far greater than the average 14 percent for other committees.”