President Barack Obama submitted to Congress the American Jobs Act of 2011 (AJA), which proposes "approximately $4.4 trillion in deficit reduction net the cost" of the AJA. The legislation contains $1.2 trillion from the discretionary cuts enacted in the August 2011 Budget Control Act and $580 billion in cuts and reforms to a wide range of mandatory programs, including $33 billion in savings from agriculture subsidies, payments, and programs.
In his Rural America fact sheet, the president calls for eliminating unnecessary direct payments, though details about how to achieve that amount and what are considered unnecessary direct payments are not defined. The president also would modernize the crop insurance program to reduce cost and improve efficiency, target agricultural conservation assistance and extend mandatory disaster assistance to strengthen the safety net for farmers.
Eliminating unnecessary direct payments would save the federal government roughly $3 billion per year over 10 years and crop insurance changes would save more than $8 billion over the same period. The president's conservation-funding cuts would save $2 billion over 10 years.
The USA Rice Federation supports a strong farm safety net and is working with other agricultural organizations to prevent any disproportionate cuts in farm programs.