U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan proposes reducing farm, crop insurance subsidies by US$30B over next decade; proposed cuts would equate to 19% of spending on farm, crop insurance subsidies through 2022

LOS ANGELES , March 21, 2012 () – On March 20, House of Representatives Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan proposed reducing farm and crop insurance subsidies by US$30 billion over next decade, Reuters reported the same day.

Ryan said that “direct payment” subsidies to farmers should be reduced by $5 billon annually, and called for reforms to the federally subsidized crop insurance program. He added that, through the 2022 fiscal year, his proposed cuts would be equivalent to 19% of the projected spending on farm and crop insurance subsidies.

Three-fourths of farm-bill spending is related to food stamps. Ryan’s proposal included a plan to replace the food stamp program with block grants that would be distributed to the states. These grants would have a spending limit, and people’s ability to access them would be linked to either job training or work.

Earlier this month, the leaders of the House Agriculture Committee said that a $23 billion reduction would be fitting. When addressing the issue in the Senate, the Senate Agriculture Committee is expected to use $23 billion reduction point established by the House Agriculture Committee.

President Barack Obamabudget proposal, which was released on February 13, called for a $32 billion reduction in farm subsidies, including an end to direct payments to farmers and a reduction in crop-insurance subsidies. His plan would also call for the revitalization of a standby disaster-relief program and a reduction in the amount of idle farmland.

If the House backs Ryan’s proposal, the House Agriculture Committee will have to write a farm bill that includes $30 billion worth of cuts.

The primary source of this article is Reuters, London, England, on March 20, 2012.

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