Ryan Budget Plans Cuts for SNAP, Crop Insurance

House budget proposal turns SNAP into a block grant, cuts more from crop insurance on top of farm bill cuts

Published on: Apr 2, 2014

House Committee on the Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on Tuesday released his answer to the President's fiscal year 2015 budget proposal, cutting an additional $23 billion from crop insurance on top of cuts outlined in the 2014 Farm Bill.

Ryan, who crafted similar crop insurance cuts in last year's budget proposal, also suggests an overall federal spending cut that amounts to $5.1 trillion over the next 10 years.

The budget focuses on restoring cuts to national security funding, changing the tax system, addressing welfare, developing a plan for Social Security and eliminating waste, a budget summary said.

Congressman Paul Ryan speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference on March 6 in National Harbor, Mich. (Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock)
Congressman Paul Ryan speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference on March 6 in National Harbor, Mich. (Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock)

"The recently passed Farm Bill reformed commodity programs, most notably by eliminating Direct Payments. However, this area remains ripe for reform," the budget proposal says.

House Ag Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., dismissed the budget and its changes to crop insurance.

"The 2014 Farm Bill cut $13 billion from the farm safety net; yet the Ryan Budget calls for an additional $23 billion cut in both farm and crop insurance programs, potentially jeopardizing farmers' ability to produce a safe and affordable food supply," Peterson commented in a Tuesday statement.

The proposed budget also cuts the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by at least $125 billion and turns it into a block grant program.

"Turning SNAP into a block grant would only create an unaccountable black hole for federal dollars," Peterson added.

In contrast, the White House-proposed budget offered $14 billion in savings from crop insurance over 10 years. The Senate Democrats are not expected to offer a budget resolution this year.

Like the White House budget, the document represents a declaration of political priorities rather than concrete actions; the National Corn Growers dismissed the President's budget earlier this month as "dead on arrival," but said its overarching themes still paint an important picture.

The National Farmers Union on Tuesday called the proposal "bipartisan and impractical."

"The farm bill passed two months ago, with $23 billion in savings from reductions to farm, conservation and nutrition programs. Now the House Republican leadership wants to cut these programs again," NFU President Roger Johnson said. "That ship has sailed. It’s time to move on to other important issues and to stop this annual exercise in budget slashing."

For a broader look at Ryan's budget proposal, here's what others are saying:
New Paul Ryan Budget Cuts Trillions in Spending, Faces Difficult Vote – Time
Paul Ryan’s Budget Plan: Five Things to Watch – The Wall Street Journal
Ryan’s last budget proposal would slash $5 trillion over next decade – The Washington Post

View the full Rep. Paul Ryan budget proposal for fiscal year 2015.