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10/26/05 House takes its turn at ag budget cuts
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Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: October 26, 2005

The Senate Agriculture Committee has made its recommendations on how to cut money from the ag budget.

THATCHER Last spring Congress determined that our federal deficit was way too high and that we had to make cuts in order to reduce that federal deficit. In the end it was determined that our fair share in agriculture was about three billion dollars.

Thats the American Farm Bureaus Mary Kay Thatcher. The cuts could come out of conservation, nutrition, trade or virtually anything that comes under the jurisdiction of the Senate and House ag committees. Thatcher says the problem with the Senate reduction plan is that it ended up as a four billion dollar cut.

THATCHER It ended up being about four billion because one of the provisions did indeed extend the Milk Income Loss Contract program. By costing a billion dollars you really cut four billion to get to the net of three.

Thatcher feels Senate plan for an across the board cut of two and a half percent on direct, counter-cyclical and loan deficiency payments is fair.

THATCHER That is pretty important because different commodities benefit differently. We strongly believe by cutting each of those three programs the same amount was the most equitable thing to do.

The House is looking at the ag budget cuts this week but their version may be very different from the Senate plan.

Voice of Idaho Agriculture
Bill Scott

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