“August 2011– The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or the ‘Super Committee’, was created by Budget Control Act of 2011 to reduce the deficit by at least $1.5 trillion before Nov. 23. The committee consists of 12 members of Congress, half from the Senate and half from the House with each delegation equally divided between Democrats and Republicans.

“September 19, 2011– President Obama reveals his American Jobs Act, which proposes $33 billion in future cuts to agriculture, calling for elimination of direct payments (assuming higher enrollment in ACRE as a result), cuts to crop insurance subsidies to both companies and growers, cuts to the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), and continuing the widely criticized Supplemental Disaster Assurance Program (SURE) for 5 years with a price tag of $8.4 billion.

“October 14, 2011– Committees of jurisdiction, like the Ag Committee, may present recommendations for budget cuts to the Super Committee, which may then choose to use or scrap them.

“November 23, 2011– The Super Committee must report to Congress with its deficit reduction plan and prepare for an up or down vote.

“December 23, 2011– Congress is due to vote on cuts.

“Then what? If the Super Committee succeeds in cutting $1.5 trillion from the federal budget and both the House and Senate approve the plan, the country theoretically gets to move on to other priorities. If the Super Committee recommends any less than $1.5 trillion in cuts, the balance will be gained from an across-the-board reduction process called sequestration. Next week, we’ll take a look at agriculture’s seat at the table, and specifically, what the National Sorghum Producers is doing to make sure your voice is heard in ongoing negotiations.”