Budget Reconciliation Slated for October 26, 2005
Members of Congress will return to their home states and districts for a Congressional recess the week of October 10th. We will post available information regarding the recess schedule of key members (House and Senate Agriculture and Budget Committees) on this blog.
Although in the first weeks after Katrina it seemed as if budget reconciliation might be postponed again, even into next year. Recent statements from the White House and a growing number of Senators and Representatives indicates that a move to push forward on budget cuts, as part of an effort to "offset" the cost of Katrina and the exploding federal budget deficit, is underway. It is not clear who will prevail, those who want to proceed or those who want to postpone, prudence dictates that we assume budget reconciliation will occur in late October.
If cuts are to be made to USDA spending ($3 billion has been proposed) then a lion's share of those cuts should come from limits on farm program payments to mega farms. Payment limits, not cuts to food and nutrition programs, conservation and rural development - that is the best course, and that is the point we all need to make to our Representatives and Senators as often as possible, especially when they are back in the district and we can make the point face to face.
To brush up on effective points to make in favor of payment limits, go to - http://www.cfra.org/newsroom/action_alerts.htm
Also, present your Representative or Senator with this polling data on payment limits - http://www.cfra.org/paymentlimitpoll.htm
The simplest message is the best message --
Tell members of Congress to protect funding for programs that offer a future to rural America - small business development, community development, conservation, and family farm programs - and programs that help those that need it most - food and nutrition programs for disadvantaged kids and families.
Tell them to cut USDA spending by capping payments to mega farms.
Post a comment here or contact John Crabtree, firstname.lastname@example.org
Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.