Coalition Opposes Cuts in Safety Net

Groups say Farm Bill should be implemented.

Published on: Mar 16, 2009

A broad coalition of farm groups is expressing strong opposition to the more than $16 billion in cuts to the farm safety net proposed in President Barack Obama's 2010 budget. In a letter sent to the chairmen and ranking members of the Agriculture and Budget Committees in both the House and the Senate, the coalition warned that the cuts threaten, once again, to change the rules midstream on American farm and ranch families.

The letter noted that the round of cuts is being proposed just eight months after the 2008 Farm Bill was passed, which at the time contained more than $7.6 billion in cuts to the safety net despite the fact that the cost of the provisions over the preceding six years was already $21.8 billion under budget. The proposed cuts constitute less than one quarter of one percent of the total federal budget and make up just 16% of the total farm bill's cost.

American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman says the ink is barely dry on the new farm bill, and all of the provisions have not yet been fully implemented. Stallman says the bill must be fully implemented and allowed to work before changes are considered.