WASHINGTON, Oct. 12- The four top Congressional agricultural leaders met Wednesday night to deliberate budget recommendations to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) met to discuss a bipartisan approach to the agricultural budget before the benchmark for recommendations arrives on Friday, Oct. 14.
It’s unclear whether the agriculture committees will meet the suggested timeline, because it’s not yet known how much mandatory spending the 12-member “super” committee wants to cut from farm programs. Agriculture Committee leaders say they need to know that amount in order to craft policy for the 2012 Farm Bill.
“I’ll accept higher cuts than I normally would if we can lock this in for five years and write this ourselves,” Peterson said earlier this afternoon. “Having the joint committee write it would be a disaster.”
Peterson added that the Agricultural Committees’ recommendation could cover the majority of farm bill issues and “potentially” be proposed by the Oct. 14 benchmark.
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