The Farm Bureau Federation recently expressed concern that the farm sector, which has already experienced major budget cuts, may face the lion’s share of spending cuts with the upcoming sequestration battle.
The sequestration debate is a holdover from 2011’s debt ceiling debate. In order to increase the US debt ceiling, congressional leaders insisted that Congress and the president agree on about $1 trillion in spending cuts or face an automatic, across the board cut.
Congress has spent the last month discussing potential solutions to these across the board spending cuts (which would hit defense spending and social spending evenly). Senate Democrats have already proposed a bill that would increase taxes on the wealthy and would cut direct payment farm subsidies.
The Farm Bureau, however, has expressed concern over this bill. “While initially we are encouraged that a new $110 billion fiscal policy proposal from Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid would help put our nation on the long road toward greater fiscal responsibility, the details on how he proposes to do so raise strong concerns,” said Farm Bureau President Robert Stallman. “It appears the lion’s share of budget reductions will come from cuts to agricultural programs that will create much harm in farm country. More than $27.5 billion in net spending reductions are earmarked for farm programs—with all the cuts coming from the elimination of direct payments with no provision to allow use of some of the savings for reinvestment in new safety-net or risk-management concepts.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer