WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2016 - The House Agriculture Committee is urging lawmakers to leave farm and nutrition programs alone as a new budget blueprint is developed.

In an annual letter to the House Budget Committee, House Agriculture says that farmers and ranchers are struggling to cope with drops in commodity prices and that the committee is doing a “thorough review” of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to make sure that it is working effectively. The Agriculture committee “has done its duty for now with respect to deficit reduction,” said the letter, which the committee approved Tuesday.

The panel said “economic conditions for many farmers and ranchers have changed dramatically

since the farm bill debate” and that cotton farmers in particular are in “serious jeopardy” because of the impact on prices of policies in China and India.

The letter says committee members “hold widely differing views” on nutrition assistance programs, including SNAP, but “we all share a common conviction in the dignity of every person and in the importance of creating economic opportunity so each and every person is able to live the American dream.”

House GOP leaders are trying to start the fiscal 2017 appropriations process earlier this year and hope to have a budget ready later this month.


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