Chairman Rogers Statement on FY 2012 Agriculture Bill at Full Committee

Jun 6, 2011

“The agencies and programs in this Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill will receive a total of $125.5 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding, a reduction of more than $7 billion from the President’s request. We reduced discretionary spending by $2.7 billion from last year’s level – a cut of more than $5 billion from the President’s request.

“The bill funds the core federal mission of the agencies and programs that keep our rural communities vibrant and strong. It provides funding that keeps our food and drug supply wholesome and safe. The bill also ensures that American agriculture remains competitive in a global economy; and it provides daily nutrition to children and families throughout the country and the world.

“However, the fiscal situation confronting our nation is of immediate importance, and hard choices simply can no longer be put off onto our children in the name of political expediency. By trimming less essential services, eliminating duplicative programs and limiting funding for agencies that have been less than transparent with taxpayer money, we have put funding in this bill on a sustainable budget path. At this time of monumental deficits and skyrocketing debt, we cannot afford to let taxpayer dollars slip through the cracks.

“I am pleased that, for the first time, this committee will require each and every agency to submit spending plans for every account and every program funded by this bill. Such oversight is common sense, and the American public will benefit from knowing exactly how and where their money is being spent.

“In addition, this legislation includes a provision to block onerous regulations proposed by the USDA regarding livestock marketing. Many members on both sides of the aisle have expressed serious concerns on the potential economic impact these new rules would have on fragile rural economies. This provision will allow the department to go back to the drawing board and do a thorough economic analysis of the proposal, something that was absent from initial draft.

“We’re also taking the steps to ensure that the FDA is fully considering the risks and benefits associated with prescription drugs – particularly narcotics.

“Chairman Kingston and his Subcommittee scrubbed each line of the President’s proposed budget to find every last nickel and dime of savings. We can rest assured knowing that we have found real and deep savings in this bill while still providing the programs and services that are lifelines for many rural communities.

“I commend Chairman, the Subcommittee and the staff for their dedicated work on this bill, and I urge that the full committee promptly report this bill to the House.”