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Delta Council joins letter to President about deficit reductions

STONEVILLE — Delta Council was a co-signer, along with other national and regional commodity organizations, on a letter to President Obama, Majority Leader Reid, and Speaker of the House Boehner expressing strong opposition to any deficit reduction package that would disproportionately impact American agriculture and rural communities.

“We are deeply concerned about any requirements that cuts be implemented for 2012, effectively reneging on commitments already made to and relied upon by producers and their lenders under the five-year 2008 Farm Bill,” the letter said. “Furthermore, we strongly believe that any policy decisions or mandated cuts ought to be determined by the congressional committees of jurisdiction and made in the context of the 2012 Farm Bill. The current droughts, flooding, and other natural disasters clearly illustrate the unique risks producers face and underscore just one of many reasons behind the need for strong, consistent farm policy which is serious jeopardy if the reported depth and timing of cuts contemplated by negotiators are accurate.”

The letter comes in response to amendments to the FY12 Agriculture Appropriations bill that rewrite provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill, including lowering the adjusted gross income (AGI) test to $250,000 and also violating a government-to-government trade agreement established between the United States and Brazil. The amendments passed the House Agriculture Appropriations Committee and the letter’s co-signatories will be working to educate members as it moves on to the full House floor next week and then the Senate.

“While our members support efforts to bring down the deficit and debt in an orderly and comprehensive manner, we cannot in good faith support deficit reduction efforts that target U.S. farmers and ranchers for disproportionately large cuts to the small percentage of the mandatory budget devoted to supporting agriculture,” the letter concludes. “Accordingly, we will oppose any cuts to farm policy that are proposed outside the context of a comprehensive agreement involving all federal spending that seriously addresses the fiscal crisis our nation faces. We strongly urge you to develop a balanced approach to deficit reduction that distributes reductions to all segments of the federal budget. Reluctantly, we will strongly oppose legislative efforts that fall short of this very basic request for fairness.”

Source: Delta Council

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