Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, issued the following statement today regarding the announcement by Senate Democratic leadership that agriculture’s direct payment subsidies will be eliminated as part of a larger sequestration package intended to avoid across-the-board spending cuts. The elimination of direct payment subsidies saves $27.5 billion and constitutes the entire non-defense discretionary cuts in the bill.
“The choice facing Congress is to allow drastically irresponsible cuts to hit every part of our budget and cost 750,000 jobs, or to make smart, targeted cuts. Billions in direct payment subsidies are paid out even in good times and for crops farmers aren’t even growing. That’s why an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the Senate voted to eliminate direct payments last year while strengthening support for farmers when they have a loss. Congress needs to come together and cut government waste, rather than cutting job creation, education, and other top priorities.
The released statement adds that, “[o]nce again, it is the Agriculture Committee that is stepping forward with responsible solutions to reduce the deficit.”