House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) said he doesn't support every detail and proposed cut in the House Budget Committee's Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 fiscal document issued by Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Lucas labeled as "only suggestions" the FY 2013 budget proposals issued by Chairman Ryan and President Barack Obama, cautioning about reading too much into the numbers or policy proposals in either plan.
(For more on the Ryan budget, see here)
"Passing a budget is the most basic function of governing" that requires congressional and presidential leadership, Lucas said. "Rural America, production agriculture, and the House Agriculture Committee are willing to do their part to reduce the nation's budget deficit."
The House Budget Committee has specified FY 2013 reconciliation savings for six committees, including directing the Agriculture Committee to achieve $33.2 billion over 10 years (2012-2022). However, Chairman Ryan's proposal says the six committees "will be responsible for determining how to meet their reconciliation instructions."
In a March 7, the House Agriculture Committee submitted its required budget views and estimates letter sent to Chairman Ryan. The letter said that the bipartisan $23 billion proposed last year in savings from mandatory farm safety net, conservation, and nutrition programs, as part of the 2011 congressional deficit reduction process, gave the committee the information needed to write a fiscally responsible farm bill. President Obama's budget, released in February, proposed legislative changes to certain mandatory farm bill programs to achieve 10-year budgetary impacts, including $30 billion in savings by eliminating direct payments; $1 billion by reducing annual expenditures in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program; and $3.3 billion by reducing premium support levels by two percentage points for crop insurance policies receiving more than 50 percent in federal support.
House budget documents establish annual fiscal levels only for the House but do not have force of law. To be adopted by the House, the budget proposals must be approved in the form of a legislative resolution.