NSAC's Blog


PRESS COMMENT: Farm and Food Groups Oppose Attempts to Reopen the 2014 Farm Bill

February 21, 2017


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Reana Kovalcik, 202-547-5754, RKovalcik@sustainableagriculture.net
Greg Fogel, 202-547-5754, GFogel@sustainableagriculture.net

 

Farm and Food Groups Oppose Attempts to Reopen the 2014 Farm Bill

Coalition asks House and Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees to protect mandatory funding for critical farm and food assistance programs

Washington, DC, February 21, 2017 – Today, a broad alliance of farm, conservation, nutrition, and rural groups delivered a letter to the House and Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees urging them not to re-open the 2014 Farm Bill through the budget or appropriations process.

“The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) has joined together with the American Farm Bureau Federation, Bread for the World, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and hundreds of other allied organizations to ask that the Budget and Appropriations Committees respect the long and deliberative process that goes into the making of every farm bill,” said Greg Fogel, Policy Director at NSAC. “With the 2018 farm bill debate quickly ramping up, it would be entirely inappropriate for congressional appropriators to use the upcoming 2017 and 2018 appropriations bills to raid mandatory funds from crucial farm bill programs like those that help farmers implement conservation activities on their farm, and anti-hunger programs that provide nutritious food access to families. These decisions should be left to the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to make next year as part of the normal farm bill process.”

NSAC has consistently advocated against re-opening the farm bill during the appropriations process. In recent years, it has become increasingly common for appropriations bills to cut farm bill conservation program spending in order to fill discretionary spending gaps. These programs, which include the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), are the primary means through which farmers, ranchers, and foresters build soil health, prepare for drought and flooding events, limit water pollution, and enhance wildlife habitat. Despite the benefits that they provide to American farmers and ranchers and to the environment, these programs have been targeted unfairly for spending reductions, year after year, through backdoor cuts known as “changes in mandatory program spending.”

“In the coming months, congressional appropriators will finalize funding legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2017 while simultaneously beginning work on FY 2018,” said Fogel. “The letter sent today reaffirms that the purpose of appropriations bills is to modify discretionary, not mandatory, spending levels. Appropriators should not be in the business of cutting or postponing mandatory funding for farm bill programs through the appropriations cycle.”

###

About the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Learn more: http://sustainableagriculture.net


Categories: Budget and Appropriations, Conservation, Energy & Environment, Farm Bill, Press Releases


Comments are closed.

Archives

Stay Connected