Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, along with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, recently visited Iowa to discuss the upcoming Farm Bill. In a meeting with farmers and farm policy experts earlier this week, both Stabenow and Vilsack promised to fight against deep farm spending cuts in the upcoming Farm Bill.
Farmers across the country are deeply concerned with spending cuts for agricultural programs in the upcoming months and years. Already, Congress has cut significant amounts of money from farm budgets, slashing funding for conservation programs as well as agricultural research programs. The recent debt ceiling agreement, which mandates $2 trillion in spending cuts, will also likely hit farmers particularly hard (politicians on both sides of the aisle have already begun questioning the need for farm subsidies).
Many farmers feel unjustly targeted by Congress and have complained that their industry is bearing an unequal burden of the United States’ economic woes.
Stabenow capitalized on these fears, claiming that House Republicans are responsible for agricultural cuts. Citing House GOP efforts to cut almost $50 billion from farm spending, Stabenow argued that the Democrat controlled Senate is in the middle of a political tug of war with Republicans in the House.
While Vilsack and Stabenow both promised to fight for agricultural interests, the turmoil in Congress can’t be reassuring to farmers who depend on a non-partisan Farm Bill. While a tug of war between Republicans and Democrats may have significant payoff for politicians, the agricultural sector needs bipartisan cooperation to guarantee the long-term health of the industry.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer