House Budget Committee rejects proposal to cut farm payments for sequester savings

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, June 27, 2012- The House Budget Committee marked up the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 today, voting against an amendment offered by Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., that would replace the $1.2 trillion sequester by eliminating direct payments to farmers and increasing taxes on domestic oil companies, among other provisions.

The Senate-passed 2012 farm bill, S. 3240, eliminates direct payments and uses the savings to create a revenue protection program, Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC). The House Committee on Agriculture marks up its version of the legislation on July 11. 

The defeated Van Hollen amendment, with an 11-22 final vote, would also increase taxes on U.S. businesses with international operations and individuals with annual income greater than $1 million. The amendment proposed to reduce spending by eliminating "unspecified waste and duplicative programs," eliminating direct payments to farmers, reforming the Federal Flood Insurance Program and selling "unspecified federal property." It also proposed to increase spending on education, science, infrastructure and the Internal Revenue Service. 

The committee did pass an amended sequestration transparency bill, HR 5872, which requires the Obama Administration to report to Congress details of the looming sequester and the actions to be taken under it.

“While we want to replace these savings with common-sense reforms, and the House has passed legislation to do so, we cannot turn a blind eye to these across-the-board reductions and how they will be implemented,” said House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc.

Under the Budget Control Act, the Office of Management and Budget will make arbitrary across-the-board spending cuts, resulting in a 10 percent cut to defense spending and an 8 percent cut to non-defense discretionary spending to take effect on January 2, 2013.

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