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COMMENT: Mandatory Farm Bill Funds Traded Away in Budget Negotiations

August 1, 2019


Contact: Reana Kovalcik
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
202-547-5754, rkovalcik@sustainableagriculture.net

Mandatory Farm Bill Funds Traded Away in Budget Negotiations

Washington, DC, August 1, 2019 – After months of handwringing and tense negotiations, today Congress passed – and the President is expected to sign – a two-year budget deal that sets overall funding levels for public programs through 2021. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) welcomed news of the long-awaited budget deal, but lamented that Congress has handicapped critical farm bill programs in the process.

“While we are relieved and thankful that the budget deal will allow the appropriations process to finally move forward, we are disappointed that congressional leaders chose to extend mandatory sequestration yet again as part of the deal,” said Juli Obudzinski, NSAC Interim Policy Director. “With a new farm bill signed into law just seven months ago, this deal will slash billions from investments made under the 2018 Farm Bill. By extending sequestration of mandatory funding through 2029, this budget deal unfairly comes at the expense of critical support programs, including: conservation, dairy, trade promotion, organic research, local food, and programs for beginning farmers and farmers of color. With farmers continuing to struggle under the continued downturn and financial stress across the entire farm economy, farm programs should be the last place to turn to find budgetary savings. Extending this pain for another decade is not just unthoughtful, it’s unconscionable.”

“At least now, with the budget roadblock now removed, the FY 2020 appropriations process can finally move forward,” said Obudzinski. “As farmers continue to struggle to stay afloat amidst climate crises, ongoing trade wars, mounting farm debt coupled with market uncertainties, we urge Congress to prioritize funding increases across farm and food programs – including beginning farmers, sustainable agriculture research, food safety, and value-added agriculture. And while any boosts to discretionary programs will pale in comparison to the mandatory farm bill cuts, it’s the very least Congress can do to support our nation’s farmers and rural communities in this tremendous time of need.”


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 and get involved at: https://sustainableagriculture.net

Categories: Budget and Appropriations, Press Releases

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