Administration Opposes Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act

In its statement of Administration policy on the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 - the Office of Management and Budget expresses strong opposition to the farm bill approved by the House Agriculture Committee. In fact - if the President were presented with H.R. 1947 - the statement says his senior advisors would recommend he veto the bill. According to the statement - the bill would reduce access to food assistance for struggling families and their children, does not contain sufficient commodity and crop insurance reforms and does not provide funding for renewable energy - which is an important source of jobs and economic growth in rural communities across the country.

The Administration calls the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program a cornerstone of our nation's food assistance safety net - and states that H.R. 1947 makes unacceptable deep cuts in the program that could increase hunger among millions of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet. The Administration believes Congress should achieve significant budgetary savings to help reduce the deficit without creating hardship for vulnerable families. One way to do this - according to the statement - is to reduce crop insurance subsidies.

What the Administration supports - the statement continues - is enactment of a multi-year Farm Bill that includes a long-term extension of disaster programs and promotes rural development, preserves a farm safety net, maintains strong nutrition programs, encourages the development of local and regional markets, enhances conservation, supports environmental stewardship, complies with our World Trade Organization commitments, advances agricultural research and provides funding for renewable energy. In addition - the Administration believes crop insurance payments should be tied to the nation's soil conservation and wetland protection goals.

The Administration adds that the legislation should contribute significantly to deficit reduction - with savings from reforms proposed in the President's Budget. Noted are crop insurance and commodity program savings not contained in H.R. 1947. But the Administration wants the savings to be achieved while strengthening the farm safety net in times of need and supporting the next generation of farmers.

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