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Chaffetz, Jordan Push for $1.8 Billion in Cuts to Agriculture Bill

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Washington, Jun 14, 2011 | comments
During today’s debate on the Agriculture appropriations bill (H.R. 2112), Republican Study Committee member Rep. Jason Chaffetz offered an amendment that would save taxpayers $1.8 billion next year.  The RSC/Chaffetz amendment seeks to alleviate duplication in agricultural research and statistical gathering by cutting in half the combined budgets of four USDA agencies.  The amendment also eliminates one foreign aid program.

“The country is going broke,” said RSC Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan.  “Why spend billions on duplicative foreign aid and four different agencies with essentially the same mission?”

“America is over $14 trillion in debt,” said Rep. Chaffetz.  “Twenty-five cents out of each dollar spent in this country is spent by the federal government.  This trajectory is unsustainable and it must stop today – not tomorrow, but today!  The RSC amendment is just one more indication that business as usual in Washington is over; that the mentality of politicians that they can keep spending on a credit card has reached an end.  It’s time for Washington to ‘cut cut cut’ and be more fiscally disciplined.  The Congress has got to learn how to do more with less.”

The RSC/Chaffetz amendment makes the following changes to cut spending in the Agriculture appropriations bill by $1.8 billion:

Cut in Half the Combined Budgets of Four Duplicative Agencies – USDA has three different agencies that perform agricultural research and statistical gathering at the federal level and a fourth that helps fund these activities at the state and local levels.  Many of the functions of the Agricultural Research Service, the Economic Research Service, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture could be consolidated or accomplished through private-sector efforts.

Eliminate One Foreign Aid Program – Public Law 480, which provides food aid to foreign countries, is slated to receive $1 billion in this legislation.  Many of the recipient nations also receive aid from other federal programs.  With three straight years of annual deficits well over $1 trillion, taxpayers cannot afford to send this money to other countries.
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