National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12) budget:
“The FY12 budget passed today by the House calls for cuts to agricultural risk management tools, including crop insurance, which are likely to be at the core of the next farm safety net, along with reducing direct payments.
“NFU has maintained all along that agriculture is more than willing to take our fair share of the cuts. Reducing the deficit requires shared sacrifice. Unfortunately, the FY12 budget has some groups, such as agriculture, doing much more than their fair share
“In the document that attempts to justify the House budget, a section is ironically titled ‘Aligning Agricultural Programs with Economic Reality,’ and calls for deep cuts to agriculture programs. Undermining the strength of the farm safety net ignores the economic reality that high commodity prices never last and that farm input costs are higher than ever before. The farm safety net’s share of the federal budget already took a $3 billion hit in the Fiscal Year 2011 budget and an additional $30 billion cut over the next decade could very well jeopardize our nation’s secure and abundant food supply.
“The budget also repeals and defunds important health care programs, turns Medicaid into block grants to be administered by states, privatizes Medicare, and cuts taxes for corporations all while reducing funding for food stamps. These measures would have a devastating effect on many rural Americans’ ability to obtain affordable and accessible health care and feed their families.
“We look forward to working closely with the Senate and the administration to develop a budget that seriously addresses the problems facing our nation that will equitably spread the burden across our society and does not unfairly target family farmers and ranchers.”