The FY2012 Republican House Budget Resolution proposes $177.86 billion in agriculture program cuts over the next 10 years.
While the budget would leave it to the Agriculture Committee to choose what programs to cut, they have suggested a $127 billion cut to food stamp programs, an approximately $30 billion cut to commodity programs and about $20 billion cut to other programs, possibly conservation programs.
The House Republican Budget Resolution has little chance of becoming the final budget; why does it matter?
If the House and Senate fail to agree on a final budget resolution, the House Republicans could later try to “deem” their own Budget Resolution as effective for purposes of enforcing House budget rules, as they did in 2002, 2004 and 2006.
This means that even if the FY2012 House Republican Budget Resolution is rejected by the Senate; subsequent deeming could force the House Agriculture Committee to cut $177.86 billion from agriculture programs if the Committee wants to pass legislation, such as a new farm bill.
How do other Committees fare under the FY2012 House Republican Budget Resolution?
Simply put, agriculture takes a disproportionate share of cuts. Agriculture Committee programs are cut 23 percent, compared to only an average 14 percent cut for other committees. The Budget Resolution makes only minimal cuts to Defense. If we truly want to get serious about the deficit, everything has to be on the table.
Additionally, agriculture has already made significant budget cuts both through the 2008 Farm Bill process and through last summer’s reforms to crop insurance which cut $6 billion, all of which, according to the Congressional Budget Office, went to deficit reduction. The House Republican Budget Resolution fails to recognize the steps agriculture has already taken.
The Bottom Line: The FY2012 Republican House Budget Resolution is a non-starter.
Agriculture is willing to do its part to reduce the deficit but everyone else needs to do the same.
Cutting $177.86 billion in farm bill programs would make it nearly impossible for the Agriculture Committee to write a new farm bill.