April 2, 2012
On Wednesday, March 28, 30 national conservation organizations delivered a letter to the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittees, urging members to “oppose cuts to mandatory agricultural conservation programs in the fiscal year 2013 agriculture appropriations legislation.”
The letter notes that since 2002, “the Conservation Title has been uniquely and disproportionately targeted for appropriations cuts” and calls on the Appropriations Committees “to recognize the importance of agricultural conservation programs by rejecting cuts to mandatory Farm Bill conservation programs” in the fiscal year (FY) 2013 appropriations bill.
“In the face of ever-tightening discretionary spending caps, the pressure for [changes in mandatory program spending] CHIMPS will only grow stronger,” the letter reads. “Mandatory funding levels for farm bill programs are agreed upon by Congress during the Farm Bill reauthorization process; it is unacceptable to continue to slash these programs yearly during the appropriations process.”
Over the last several weeks, both the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittees have held hearings with witnesses from a number of USDA’s mission areas.
Both Subcommittees are expected to move forward in the coming months with a markup of their respective agriculture funding bills.