Tuesday, May 8, 2012

House to Focus on Budget This Week
Washington--The House Budget Committee this week will consider a budget reconciliation bill to head off $109 billion in automatic, across-the-board budget cuts next year. The reconciliation measure would replace the scheduled sequestration with $300 billion in federal savings over 10 years.

Under the law passed last August to raise the federal debt limit, a $109 billion budget sequestration takes effect in January 2013. The cuts would occur in defense spending as well as food assistance and health care programs. Of the $109 billion, about $55 billion would come from defense discretionary spending, $43 billion from domestic discretionary spending and the balance from Medicare and other mandatory spending. Agriculture programs also would see budget cuts.

The reconciliation measure isn’t expected to pass in the face of strong Democratic opposition. It most likely will set the stage for further budget negotiations later this year.

Whether budget cuts come in the form of a sequestration, reconciliation or a negotiated budget deal later this year, there will be less funding for the farm bill and other programs. The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging Congress to write a new farm bill this year.

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