U.S. House Considers Budget Cuts
The U.S. House of Representatives is expected next week to consider the FY 13 budget resolution (H.Con.Res. 112) passed narrowly by the Budget Committee, 19 to 18. The legislation includes budget reconciliation instructions for six House committees, including Agriculture, to find savings of $33 billion over 10 years from commodity related programs. The resolution assumes $3.5 billion in reductions to USDA export programs, including the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program. The six committees are required to report with suggested legislation by April 27 implementing the savings. It should be noted, however, that the Agriculture committee will make the final decisions on which programs to reduce in order to achieve the required amount.
The Senate Budget Committee is likely to stay closer to $23 billion in cuts, the figure recommended by House-Senate Agriculture Committee leaders at last year’s Super Committee deliberations. The disparity between the House and Senate amounts is expected to make it more difficult to complete a new Farm Bill this year.
To ensure full funding for the MAP and FMD programs at $200 million and $34.5 million, respectively, it is important for Members of Congress to fully appreciate that these are essential tools helping U.S. agriculture compete in the international marketplace. We could use your help with urging House members to support these levels of funding in the new farm bill and to oppose any reductions to MAP and FMD through budget reconciliation. MAP and FMD are extremely cost-effective initiatives that help expand U.S. agricultural exports while protecting and creating American jobs. To make your views known, please contact Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Ranking Minority Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) in support of full funding for both MAP and FMD. Discussion points related to MAP and FMD funding can be found online