U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry today said the committee reported out the 2012 Farm Bill, officially called the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act, which reduces spending on agriculture programs by over $23 billion, strengthens the safety net for producers in need and streamlines redundant and costly programs. Senator Roberts joined Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (R-Mich.) in introducing the legislation.
"I thank Chairwoman Stabenow for her work on this bill on behalf of our nation's farmers and ranchers. We've worked hard to put together the best bill possible," said Roberts. "We've cut deficit spending while at the same time strengthened and preserved programs important to agriculture and rural America. I look forward to the bill's consideration on the Senate floor to further the debate on our efforts to save taxpayer dollars, continue to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse, and end redundant programs."
As approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee, this legislation does the following:
SAVES OVER $23 BILLION FOR THE TAXPAYER:
Provides over $23 billion in deficit reduction through reduced spending.
Farm Safety-Net programs strengthened and preserved. Nearly $15 billion in savings.
Conservation programs strengthened and preserved. $6.37 billion in savings.
$4 billion in savings from Nutrition programs. Fraud and abuse prevention programs strengthened.
Over $1 billion in authorized spending eliminated from Rural Development
$770 million in authorized spending eliminated from Research programs
$20 million in authorized spending cut from Forestry programs
STREAMLINES AND ELIMINATES 96 PROGRAMS:
Four Commodity programs eliminated
23 Conservation programs streamlined into 13
15 Rural Development programs eliminated
60 Research programs eliminated
Seven Forestry and Specialty Crop programs eliminated
The legislation received the endorsements of the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Farmers Union, Kansas Corn Growers Association, Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers, Kansas Pork Producers, Kansas Soybean Association, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, the Kansas Livestock Association.
Senator Roberts has worked on three Farm Bills in the Senate, and four in the House as a Representative from Kansas' Big First Congressional District. He authored the 1996 Farm Bill as Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.