WASHINGTON, March 11, 2015 – Next week, the congressional budget committees are expected to take up resolutions laying out tax and spending plans aimed at reducing the federal budget deficit. Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., told Agri-Pulse he expects the Senate version to require his panel to propose cuts in agriculture spending.

“Agriculture is one third of 1 percent of federal spending and we have gone through significant cuts before, but we’ll have to meet our budget number whatever it is,” Roberts said. “We’re prepared to do that.”

Republicans expect to get briefed on the committee’s draft resolution later this week.

Roberts said he doesn’t know how big of a cut the committee will have to propose, but he indicated he doesn’t intend to touch the farm bill’s commodity programs. “The farm bill is done.” But he didn’t rule out targeting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

It remains to be seen whether the budget process ultimately leads to any new cuts. After the two chambers agree on a resolution, Republicans will have to agree on a package of cuts in a process known as reconciliation. Any reconciliation bill that slashes domestic programs is almost certain to face a presidential veto.


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