House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan has released a 15-year House budget resolution that would cut farm program spending by 23-billion dollars from 2015 to 2024 – according to The Hagstrom Report. The resolution would also turn SNAP into a block grant to the states and eliminate the provision allowing states to increase SNAP benefits if they use the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. However – no SNAP changes would be made until 2019. The budget notes the 23-billion in savings could be achieved by continuing to reform assistance programs for agriculture. It also says farmers will benefit greatly from other provisions in the budget – including regulatory relief, fundamental tax reform and stronger economic growth. How farm programs will be cut is not specifically stated in the budget. House Ag Ranking Member Collin Peterson says he is committed to reducing the nation’s debt and working in a bipartisan, serious and thoughtful way to address those budget issues. Unfortunately – Peterson says the hatchet approach taken by the Ryan budget proposal is not serious or thoughtful. A mark-up of the resolution is scheduled for Wednesday, but the budget isn’t expected to be enacted as the Senate is unlikely to pass a budget resolution this year.
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says Chairman Ryan’s budget proposal is partisan and impractical. Johnson says the farm bill passed two months ago with 23-billion dollars in savings from reductions to farm, conservation and nutrition programs – but now the House Republican leadership wants to cut those programs again and turn SNAP into a block grant program. He says that ship has sailed – and it’s time to move on to other important issues and stop this annual exercise in budget slashing.
Source: NAFB News Service