As the House Budget Committee prepares its FY2013 budget proposal in the coming weeks, its worth remembering that last year’s GOP House budget proposal contained a total of $178 billion in cuts to agricultural programs over 10 years.
Although $30 billion is often cited as the benchmark from last year’s outline, that amount was only distributed to programs such as direct payments, crop insurance subsidies, and export assistance programs.
An additional $127 billion in cuts were allocated to convert SNAP program benefits (food stamps) to state block grants, while the remaining $21 billion was unspecified, but was likely to include cuts to conservation programs.
This summary table (click to expand, from page six of the CRS report) from a recent Congressional Research Service Report, “Previewing the Next Farm Bill,” illustrates that proposed cuts to agricultural program spending by the House Budget Committee was significantly greater than any other of the other comprehensive budget proposals that contained reductions in Farm Bill spending ($10 billion, $11 billion, $23 billion, $30 billion and $32 billion).
Recall also that a Politico article from last month summarized an appearance by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) on the January 29th edition of Fox News Sunday: “Ryan on ‘Fox News Sunday’ said he hasn’t written the budget yet because the Congressional Budget Office baseline isn’t out, but he added, ‘We’re not going backward; we’re going forward. We’re not backing off of any of our ideas, any of our solutions.’”
Some policy observers have inferred that the upcoming budget proposal from the House may not look much different than it did last year.