AGRIBUSINESS: Grassley Specific On Ag Cuts

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The Senate Budget Committee met Thursday to mark-up and vote on the Concurrent Resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2014.

During the meeting, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley affirmed that his initiative to reform farm program payments will be part of the Agriculture Committee’s effort to achieve 23-billion dollars in agricultural savings sought by the Budget Committee. He added that contrary to what Budget Chair Patty Murray’s proposed budget says - all farm bill spending will be on the table for spending reductions - including nutrition programs.

Grassley is a senior member of both the Budget and Agriculture Committees.

He raised questions because the Murray budget plan calls for $23 billion in savings from Function 350 - which is only one of three functions in the budget resolution for agricultural spending. Function 350 includes commodity programs, crop insurance, ag research and certain farm loans. It doesn’t include conservation or nutrition programs - which are also funded through the farm bill.

According to the Congressional Budget Office - spending on nutrition is about 76% of farm bill spending while commodity programs and crop insurance account for about 15% of farm bill spending.