What is in this article?:
- Ryan budget pounded by Senate Democrats
- Stabenow calls budget “irresponsible”
- Senate Democrats claim the Ryan budget plan not only threatens the writing of a 2012 farm, bill but also increases chances of a government shutdown later this year.
While farm groups typically found at least some of the proposal praise-worthy, Senate Democrats have been much less hospitable, claiming the Republican’s plan not only threatens the writing of a 2012 farm bill but also increases chances of a government shutdown later this year.
For more on the Ryan proposal, see here.
Ryan’s plan would focus “primarily on direct payments and crop insurance,” said an American Soybean Association statement. “Additionally, the chairman’s budget includes a dramatic transformation of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamp program, which would cut $123 billion from the program and shift it to a state-run block grant program.”
Danny Murphy, ASA first vice president and a soybean farmer from Canton, Miss., said while the proposal may lead to “faster consideration of a potential farm bill” there are potential pitfalls. “The cuts that Chairman Ryan proposes … are significantly higher than those agreed upon by House and Senate agriculture committee leadership during the ‘super committee’ process last fall, and that concerns us. Especially worrisome is (Ryan’s) emphasis on the federal crop insurance program as an area for reduction. Crop insurance serves as the main safety net for America’s farmers, and its integrity must be protected.”
Murphy is pleased with Ryan’s emphasis on developing domestic energy sources, especially in light of the “sustained success of the American biodiesel industry, one that created 50,000 jobs and saw a record production of 1.1 billion gallons last year, and remains the only advanced biofuel currently produced on a commercial scale across the U.S. The biodiesel industry creates jobs, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and bolsters our energy security, all while displacing imported diesel with clean, American-made fuel.”
Murphy said the ASA has “long maintained that we are ready and willing to accept our share of cuts, provided that those cuts are proportionate to other industries. We will continue that cooperative spirit in the interest of getting our nation’s fiscal house in order. However, we encourage Chairman Ryan to remember that the record farm productivity that he cites in his budget is a direct result of policies that help those farms to grow.”