This week nearly fifty agricultural groups urged House and Senate Budget Committee leadership to avoid reconciliation instructions to the House and Senate Agriculture committees.
A total of 48 agriculture industry organizations sent a letter to Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg, R-N.H., House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle, R-Iowa, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C., addressing the importance of commodity, conservation and crop insurance programs to farmers, ranchers and rural businesses. The budget committees were urged to adequately fund discretionary spending for agriculture programs which have seen cuts over the past several years.
"Given the cuts agricultural programs have already sustained over the last several years, we ask that you not adopt a discretionary spending level that requires agricultural programs to take additional budget reductions," the letter says.
In February, President George W. Bush proposed a budget for 2007 that would cut nearly $3 billion from U.S. Department of Agriculture spending programs. The proposed budget also included cuts of $65 billion over five years in mandatory spending. The mandatory cuts would also include $7.7 billion in farm program spending over 10 years.
To read the full text of the letter, click here.