The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture today passed its Fiscal Year 2010 funding legislation. The approved, draft legislation contains a total of $123.7 billion in both mandatory and discretionary spending - which is 14% over last year's level.
The proposed legislation funds several important and necessary government programs, including farm lending and safety-net food and nutrition programs. However, while adequate funding for these critical programs is needed - especially in this time of economic struggle - the proposal over-compensates with unsustainable, double digit funding increases throughout the bill.
House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis indicated his concern with these large increases in spending.
"A 14% increase in overall agriculture spending in one year is out of touch with our current fiscal reality. Many of these programs are important and should be funded at reasonable levels, but they simply do not warrant these huge spending increases paid for with borrowed money," Lewis said.
Agriculture Appropriations Ranking Member Jack Kingston also expressed concern with the level of spending in the bill.
"I appreciate the majority's efforts in crafting this bill. However, spending is growing at an alarming rate and we have got to get it under control. If American families are forced to tighten their belts and make tough choices, so too should their government. Washington should be leading by example," Kingston said.
Appropriations Committee Republicans have offered an alternate proposal earlier this week that would have limited agriculture Appropriations spending to 2% - or the rate of inflation. That proposal failed in Committee on a party-line vote.