What is in this article?:
- The House spent nearly two days debating the FY 2012 agricultural, rural development, Food and Drug Administration and related agencies funding bill.
- The House-approved measure cuts nearly $2 billion in conservation and renewable energy funding from the government spending plans for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.
- Advocates are turning their attention to the Senate to make changes in the measure.
'Playing with food security'
Groups like the National Wildlife Federation accused House Republicans of “playing with America’s food and energy security” by cutting more than $1 billion in conservation and renewable energy funding in H.R. 2112.
“We are deeply disappointed with the outcome of this vote,” said Aviva Glaser, agriculture policy coordinator for the Federation. “Congress is trying to balance the budget on the backs of farmers by gutting conservation and renewable energy programs.”
The Environmental Defense Fund also weighed into the debate, asking the Senate to fix the many problems created by the House in the passage of the $1 billion in cuts for conservation programs.
“We realize that Congress faces tough budget choices, but making draconian cuts to voluntary conservation programs that help farmers and ranchers provide all Americans with cleaner air and water, more productive soils and habitat for wildlife is penny-wise and dollar-foolish,” said Sara Hopper, agricultural policy director for the EDF.
“The Senate needs to restore reasonable funding levels for conservation programs for the benefit of our environment and taxpayers.”