U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Ranking Republican Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today released the following statement regarding President Obama's proposed fiscal year (FY) 2010 budget request, calling for additional cuts to key agriculture programs:
"When the Administration outlined its budget proposal earlier this year, I was greatly concerned, particularly with items pertaining to agriculture and our current farm safety net. It seems as if the extra time taken to put together a more detailed budget has been utterly wasted. The President's proposed budget request still includes the same ill-advised cuts to the farm safety net without a serious attempt to trim back the bloated federal budget and reduce our national debt. While on the surface some of the proposed savings seem reasonable to those who don't understand the economics of farming, most are simply misguided recycled gimmicks from previous years. This Administration promised change, and yet they offer the same agriculture proposals previously rejected. Time and time again, we have seen the Administration unfairly target agriculture programs to achieve savings and completely discount the hardworking men and woman that rely on these programs for their livelihood.
"Agriculture is not the problem in the budget. Agriculture spending represents less than one percent of the federal budget, yet we are constantly under attack. When we reauthorized the farm bill, we paid for it. This Administration recklessly spends billions to trillions of dollars, none of which are paid for, and then looks at the one area of the budget where we have been fiscally responsible to cut. I am not certain how this President can justify slashing agriculture one day to appear fiscally responsible, and then spew out billions of dollars to distressed industries' and programs the Administration views as more worthy the next. The American taxpayer deserves better.
"Americans are worried that this new level of massive debt will be passed down to their children and grandchildren. I simply cannot in good conscious support this President's budget."