U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, filed an amendment to the 2018 Senate Budget Resolution on Oct. 18 to protect the next Farm Bill from cuts in funding.
“The 2014 Farm Bill streamlined over 100 programs and is already saving taxpayers $100 billion, while still investing in our farmers and ranchers,” said Senator Stabenow. “As we write the next Farm Bill, we need to send a clear message to our farmers, families and rural communities that they are not on the chopping block for cuts. This budget amendment will protect the Farm Bill from harmful reductions in funding, and ensure that we continue to protect our land and water and invest in our farmers and small towns.”
Earlier this year, more than 500 food, farm and rural development groups came together to ask Congress not to make any cuts to the Farm Bill. Last week, Senator Stabenow stood by those organizations, and raised concerns that the budget resolution would open the door for cuts to agriculture. The amendment would protect the Farm Bill by creating a point or order against any reductions in funding to resources for crop insurance, nutrition, conservation, rural development, and other important priorities during consideration of the 2018 Farm Bill.
“The Stabenow Amendment is critical for the health of our communities,” said Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union. “This budget must not cut farm and nutrition programs. Any budgetary cuts would come on top of the $23 billion in cuts made to the last farm bill and the estimated $100 billion in savings already realized under it. Family farmers are facing significant economic hardships, as net farm income has declined roughly 50 percent over the last four years. The situation demands adequate funding, not less. The federal budget should not be balanced on the backs of family farms.”