Today, Rep. David Rouzer (NC-7), Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, held a public hearing to examine the federal and state response to avian influenza.
House Approves $6 Billion Financial Safety Net Commitment
$6 BILLION READIED FOR NEW, PERMANENT CHANGES IN FARM FINANCIAL SAFETY NET
As the House of Representatives prepares to vote on the Budget Resolution for the Fiscal Years 2000-2004, Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest (R-TX) expressed his strong support for the resolution including a total of $6 billion in new agriculture funding authority which will allow Congress to enact permanent changes in the farm financial safety net.
"This is a great opportunity for America's farmers and ranchers," said Combest. "They are in a crisis and we are working hard to create an adequate safety net to ensure their future prosperity. The $6 billion contained in the Budget Resolution gives us the means to permanently improve risk management for farmers and I'm confident we'll be able to pass legislation doing so this year."
"Despite paying lip service to crop insurance reform in his State of the Union address, the president's budget didn't contain one cent for improving the system," said Combest. "Nevertheless, with passage of this resolution we are going to have permanent funding, and I hope the administration will work with us to create a program that dramatically improves the farm financial safety net."
In addition to the $6 billion in new agriculture funding, the Budget Resolution contains up to $15 billion in tax cuts for FY2000 and almost $800 billion over the next decade. These reductions will allow Congress to continue working to provide American farmers and ranchers with tax relief vital to their livelihoods -- including estate tax reform, health insurance deductions, capital gains tax relief, and the creation of Farm and Ranch Risk Management savings accounts.