Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee, released the Republican proposed fiscal year 2013 budget, “Path to Prosperity: A Blueprint For American Renewal,” which would cut approximately $181 billion from farm bill programs over a 10-year period.
The proposal would cut $15.5 billion from commodity programs, $15.5 billion from crop insurance, $16 billion from conservation, and $134 billion from nutrition programs. The budget suggests that the House Agriculture Committee reduce fixed payments and “reform the open-ended nature of the government’s support for crop insurance.”
In addition, the budget proposal would change the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp program) by block granting the program to the states beginning in 2016. The House Agriculture Committee, through reconciliation, is to report cuts of $33 billion over 10 years by April 27. Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, said, “I would caution people about reading too much into the numbers or policy proposals in either the president's budget or the Ryan budget. They are only suggestions. During our process, both policy and deficit reduction targets will be developed in conjunction with Ranking Member (Collin) Peterson and members of the committee as we write a fiscally responsible farm bill that ensures Americans continue to have a safe, affordable and stable food supply."
However, Congressman Peterson (D-MN), responded: “The process outlined by the House Republican budget all but guarantees there will be no farm bill this year. The Ryan budget proposes significant cuts in the farm safety net and conservation programs and slashes spending on nutrition programs that provide food for millions of Americans. It is appalling that in an attempt to avoid defense cuts, the Republican leadership has elected to leave farmers and hungry families hurting.” The Senate Agriculture Committee is expected to propose $23 billion in cuts over 10 years in farm programs, conservation, and SNAP.