Ag coalition opposes any budget cuts |

Ag coalition opposes any budget cuts

More than 250 agriculture, conservation and anti-hunger groups have written to congressional budget and appropriations leaders, urging them to make no additional cuts to programs within the jurisdiction of the Senate and House Agriculture committees.

“Two years ago, Congress passed a bipartisan farm bill that made a significant contribution to deficit reduction,” the groups wrote. “This bipartisan legislation was estimated to contribute $16 billion to deficit reduction over 10 years. These difficult cuts resulted from hard choices made to reform and reduce the farm safety net, conservation programs and nutrition assistance programs. Some of the reforms made in the new farm bill are still being implemented.

“We urge you to oppose any additional cuts for the Agriculture committees in the FY 2017 appropriations process as well as proposals to re-open any title of the farm bill during the consideration of the 2017 budget resolution,” the letter added.

The groups signing the letter included agriculture, nutrition, conservation, rural development, finance, forestry, energy, trade, local government, labor, equipment manufacturing, and crop insurance groups.

Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., on Wednesday praised the farm bill coalition for “again standing strong against potential cuts from Congress. It’s important that we keep the farm bill intact through the budget and appropriations process to provide the full five-year certainty promised in that bipartisan bill.”

–The Hagstrom Report