President Obama's fiscal year 2011 budget was just released yesterday, and analysis of its provisions is incomplete. Nutrition programs fared well, gaining about $10 billion over 10 years. That has encouraged hunger and nutrition advocates
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However, some farm groups would like to believe the budget, calling for more than $10 billion in cuts from farm programs over 10 years, t is "dead on arrival." Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., and chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, wasted no time in voicing opposition to her party's leader. From Lincoln:


Chairman Lincoln Statement on President Obama’s
 FY2011 Budget Proposal

Washington-- U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry today said she would oppose cuts to programs important to agriculture and rural communities contained in President Obama’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2011.

“Throughout my Senate career, I have been a strong, independent voice for Arkansas’s agricultural producers. Now, as Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I am standing up for farmers and ranchers and all of rural America once again by opposing cuts that will harm the hard-working men and women who are the backbone of our rural economy.  

“Put simply the President’s proposal picks winners and losers. By targeting policies that rural America relies upon, this proposal places a disproportionate burden on the backs of farmers and rural communities.  While I too believe we must reduce the federal deficit, we must all share in this responsibility.

“In 2008 I worked hard to pass a five-year farm bill that was fiscally responsible. This bill contained over $4 billion worth of cuts to farm programs, was completely paid for and did not contribute to the deficit. The Farm Bill is a contract with our farmers that they depend on to make business decisions. Changing the rules in the middle of the game would be detrimental to their operations and would cost us even more jobs in rural America.

“I thank the President for his recommendations, but Congress writes the budget. I intend to support measures to reduce the deficit but fight many of the President’s proposed cuts that will harm farmers, ranchers and rural communities.”   



TK: Relating to the USDA budget, the question will be whether lawmakers can show bipartisan support for gains in nutrition funding while finding enough money for those gains from cuts in the farm programs.