Lucas Challenges Senate Democrats' Attack On Rural America
Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184
WASHINGTON – Today, Chairman Frank Lucas released the following statement in response to the U.S. Senate's proposal to avoid the sequester cuts that are slated to take effect March 1.
"Farmers and ranchers want to be a part of the solution to the fiscal crisis we face in this country. And, the House Agriculture Committee demonstrated that commitment to being a part of the solution when we passed a comprehensive, balanced farm bill that cut more than $35 billion from all of agricultural spending, including the farm safety net, conservation programs, and reforming the SNAP program.
"We made those reforms in the context of a comprehensive, five-year farm bill that ensured we still met the food and fiber needs of all Americans. The Senate’s approach of taking away our investment in rural America without addressing the hole it will create is not balanced and not acceptable."
Sequestration is an across-the-board reduction in spending mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011. In an effort to turn off sequestration, which is estimated at $85.3 billion for fiscal year 2013, the Senate Democrats proposed raising taxes, cutting defense spending, and cutting the traditional farm safety net. The proposed cuts to the traditional farm safety net are $31 billion, which is a 53 percent reduction.