While rural Americans have already waited too long for passage of a new Food, Farm and Jobs bill, this week brought a promising new development. Conferees from the Senate and House met to begin work on the creation of a bipartisan, long-term Farm Bill. Their work could not be more timely – and they are in the spotlight now more than ever before.
The Farm Bill is crucial to America’s farmers, ranchers and producers. It provides a necessary safety net for producers centered around a strong crop insurance program and a dependable set of disaster assistance programs. The last two years of drought and other weather-related disasters underscores how important that safety net is to keeping producers in business.
The Farm Bill’s importance extends beyond the farm safety net. Read more »
Since coming into office in 2009, President Obama and I have taken important steps to avoid potential economic collapse, and strengthen the American economy for future generations. America’s families have tightened their belts during these difficult times, and government needs to do the same. That is why the Fiscal Year 2012 budget looks for opportunities to cut waste and streamline operations – but also proposes cutting programs that the President and I care about to work towards controlling the deficits. Last year, USDA provided $4 billion to help pay down the debt by renegotiating an agreement with crop insurance companies. This budget continues that commitment to deficit reduction – proposing a nearly $2 billion decrease from our request for Fiscal Year 2011. Read more »
Last night I had the privilege of attending President Obama’s State of the Union speech. In it, he laid out some of the challenges America faces moving forward as we compete with nations across the globe to win the future.
The President’s vision is simple. We need to be a nation that makes, creates and innovates so that we can expand the middle class and ensure that we pass along to our children the types of freedoms, opportunities and experiences that we have enjoyed. Read more »