White House supports Farm Bill but calls for more crop insurance, farm program cuts

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, June 7, 2012- The Obama Administration announced its support of the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012 today, but noted it wants deeper cuts in the crop insurance and commodity programs. The White House released its statement after the Senate voted 90-8 today to proceed to debate the 2012 Farm Bill. 

According to the statement, the Administration “looks forward to working with the Congress to address the important concerns described below prior to final passage.”

“The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to achieve crop insurance and commodity program savings that are not contained in S. 3240, while at the same time strengthening the farm safety net in times of need and supporting the next generation of farmers,” according to the statement. 

The Administration also stated its support for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which the President's Budget did not reduce, but the Senate's Farm Bill cut by  more than $4 billion over 10 years. While the Senate Farm Bill saves $23.6 billion over a decade, the President's Budget cut $32 billion.

The Obama budget, which failed 99-0 in the Senate this year, stated that “as part of the strategy to confront our fiscal challenges in a thoughtful and responsible manner the Budget includes $32 billion in savings over 10 years by eliminating direct farm payments, providing disaster assistance, reducing subsidies to crop insurance companies, and better targeting conservation funding, consistent with the Administration's deficit reduction proposal.” 

While the White House statement today praised several measures of the Senate bill, such as the elimination of direct payments and streamlined conservation programs, it concluded that “the Administration also looks forward to working with the Congress to structure reporting requirements and the proposed Research Foundation in ways that will maximize and facilitate agricultural research.”

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