The leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees sent a letter yesterday to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, recommending a $23 billion cut to federal spending on agricultural programs. They said they are "finalizing the policies" that will accomplish the cuts and plan to submit a complete legislative package to the deficit reduction supercommittee by November 1.
IDFA has learned that the budget deal will include the National Milk Producers Federation's Foundation for the Future proposals, which are also included in H.R. 3062, a bill sponsored by Representative Collin Peterson (D-MN). IDFA opposes H.R. 3062 because it includes a new government supply-control program that would require handlers to reduce payments to dairy producers and instead send these payments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The agriculture leaders who have agreed to the package are Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Pat Roberts (R-KS), chair and ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Representatives Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Collin Peterson (D-MN), chair and ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee.
The leaders released a joint statement, saying," Agriculture has a long legacy of bipartisanship, and today the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are preserving that tradition. In the coming weeks, we will continue working with our House and Senate colleagues to provide the Joint Select Committee a detailed set of policy recommendations for achieving these important savings."
IDFA delivered letters to the Hill last Thursday urging the ag leaders, House and Senate leaders and members of the supercommittee to omit the supply-control requirement from the budget package.
"The new supply management framework you suggest for our industry would create investment uncertainty that is completely counter to the job-creating policies that this Congress should be supporting," said IDFA President and CEO Connie Tipton in the letter. "The economic harm to our industry would be enormous in terms of both the market losses and significant regulatory burden you would impose on dairy manufacturers. This damage far outweighs the farm support dairy producers would receive."
IDFA continues to work with all members of the agriculture committees and their staffs on dairy policy proposals.
For more information, contact Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president of policy and legislative affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.