In a letter signed by Senate Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee Chairman Stabenow, D-Mich., and nine other panel members, the senators expressed their “serious concerns that the on-going budget negotiations impose imprudent cuts at the expense of the real needs of rural America and the 16 million jobs that come from agriculture.”

The letter, available at the NCC’s home page, www.cotton.org, further expressed opposition to the level of cuts to agriculture passed by the House of Representatives.

In the letter, the group said it supports efforts to reduce the federal deficit and expressed their belief that agriculture must do its part in that process. They reminded the president that cuts to crop insurance already have committed $4 billion to deficit reduction. The group, in looking ahead to the next farm bill, also emphasized the need for available resources in order to craft a balanced farm bill. They requested that specific changes to farm bill programs should be left to their panel.

In other budget news, press reports indicate that a bipartisan group of six Senate and House lawmakers, led by Vice President Biden, has agreed on at least $200 billion in cuts by focusing on mandatory federal spending, such as agriculture programs, outside of politically sensitive entitlement programs like Medicare, according to sources close to the negotiations.