Senator Stabenow “disappointed” in super committee; pushes Agriculture plan

Nov 21, 2011

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow says she’s “disappointed” the congressional super committee did not come to an agreement to cut the federal budget deficit.

Stabenow chairs the Senate’s Agriculture committee. The committee (along with the House Agriculture Committee) came up with bipartisan recommendations to cut $23 billion from the Department of Agriculture.

“We have done what we were asked to do,” Stabenow said. “We chose a different way…and I hope that we will see more of that because that’s what our country needs.”

The recommendations include streamlining programs run by the Department of Agriculture; reducing the number of programs by nearly a third. The recommendations would also strengthen crop insurance while reducing subsidies in good harvest years.

A number of agriculture leaders lined up behind her in a show of support during a press conference at Stabenow’s Grand Rapid’s office Tuesday.  

“We need to get rid of some spending that doesn’t make sense, we need to consolidate programs, we need to do the kinds of things for risk management and crop insurance,” said Jim Byrum, President of the Michigan Agri-Business Association. “Frankly this proposal does it. We think the super committee could learn something from the Ag community and unfortunately they have a ways to go it seems.”

Stabenow hopes the recommendation will still be folded into some future deal on the budget.