In an interview this week with AgriTalk Radio’s Mike Adams, Rep. Collin Peterson, (D-Minn.), ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, expressed acute frustration over the debt ceiling talks going on in Washington, D.C.
Peterson is concerned because the House leadership is not consulting Agriculture Committee members on budget cuts aimed at agriculture programs. “The only thing (budget negotiators) can agree on is cutting farm programs, even though it’s not a blip on the radar in terms of spending.”
Reductions in agriculture spending are a certainty as Democrats and Republicans alike believe they will face limited objections in cutting farm subsidy programs.
Frustration is mounting each day with the negotiation process and it is unclear when a conclusion will be reached. “I’m as frustrated as the people are,” said Peterson. “(Negotiators) need to be careful because they might come back with something they cannot pass.”
The political partisanship showing up in the negotiations to raise the nation’s debt limit is growing and makes progress nearly impossible. “It’s getting worse and worse,” said Peterson. It’s a mess and really shows how polarized everything is. It is as bad now as I have ever seen it.”
Budget negotiators are using the debt ceiling talks to advance their personal ideological issues and few of them have experience with agricultural issues, according to Peterson. “There are not a lot of folks at the table who have a good understanding of agriculture.”