Yesterday, the House Committee on Agriculture sent its Budgets Views and Estimates Letter for Fiscal Year 2016 to the House Budget Committee. The letter urged Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price to consider with the Farm Bill the Agriculture Committee made a significant contribution to deficit reduction, which Congressional Budget Office estimated would save $16 billion over 10 years. Despite a steep decline in commodity prices the CBO estimates that taxpayer savings remain intact.
“The Farm Bill is working as it was intended to work, meeting our objectives with substantially fewer resources,” the letter says. “From our perspective, we believe that the Committee on Agriculture has done its duty for now with respect to deficit reduction and that areas constituting the other 98 percent of the Federal budget ought to be looked to first for any additional savings being sought this Congress.”
“It is important not to gloss over the current difficult economic conditions in farm country, especially in parts of the country that have faced both sharply lower crop prices and natural disasters,” the letter continues.
“A good many producers are struggling to demonstrate to lenders that they can cash flow in order to secure credit and farm for another year. Adding to the anxiety of producers is implementation of the Farm Bill where complicated decisions with very significant consequences need to be made by February 27 and March 31 of this year. As producers continue to work through these issues, both economic and policy, it is important that Congress not adversely change the rules of the 5-year Farm Bill.”