Ag groups warn: Sequestration would be devastating

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, July 16, 2012 -The American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) joined with 3000 other organizations in warning Congress that any automatic budget cuts set for January of 2013 will have devastating effects on the nondefense discretionary (NDD) community-- especially research and education funding for food, agriculture, and environmental sciences.

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ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Chief Executive Officer Ellen Bergfeld says it's especially important to protect the investment in science and technology.

“If sequestration occurs, there will be fewer job opportunities related to scientific and technological advances. Spending has already been cut and we face what could be an immediate and widespread impact on the food, agriculture, and environmental research needed to grow the economic performance and competitiveness of the United States,” explains Bergfeld.

In a letter sent to all members of Congress today, ASA, CSSA, and SSSA leadership urged lawmakers to avert budget sequestration and instead adopt a “balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not include further cuts to NDD programs."

Sequestration was included in a 2011 agreement raising the federal debt ceiling in exchange for a commitment to reduce the federal deficit by more than $1-trillion over the next decade.

The organizations involved, including ASA, CSSA, and SSSA, represent the potential scope of sequestration, which would reduce NDD spending by approximately 8% across most federal programs, while cutting defense spending by approximately 7.5%.

NDD programs represent a small and shrinking share of the federal budget and of our overall economy, the groups wrote, equal to just 3.4 percent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product in 2011.

For a copy of the full letter, click: here.

 

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