Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I am pleased to be here today in support of the Agriculture Committee's budget request.
The Agriculture Committee has a history of putting aside partisanship and working together in the best interests of our constituents. In fact, we were the only Congressional Committee to propose a bipartisan, bicameral deficit reduction package to the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction.
Much of the Committee's work for the coming year will be focused on the reauthorization of the 2008 Farm Bill, which expires next fall. This is something the Committee had originally planned to begin considering this year but the work of the Super Committee modified our original timeframe.
I share Chairman Lucas' concern about the potential long-term impact of committee funding reductions and I echo the request that you take into consideration the fact that the Agriculture Committee's original 112th Congress budget submission placed greater resources in 2011 than 2012. A percentage cut off the lower number will mean that the Agriculture Committee would take a greater cut than committees who kept funding levels equal between the two years or had a larger 2012 number.
Chairman Lucas and I have a good working relationship; not just on policy issues but on the day-to-day functions of the Committee. I appreciate the Chairman's respect for the minority's control and direction of our one-third of the budget and I look forward to continue working together on committee priorities.
I appreciate your consideration of the Agriculture Committee's budget request.