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Chairman Roberts: Obama’s Budget Turns Deaf Ear to Rural America

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today made the following statement after reviewing President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget request to Congress, which includes legislative proposals to cut the federal crop insurance program by $18 billion.

“As farmers and ranchers are faced with the daily uncertainties of weather and volatile market conditions, the Obama Administration has once again chosen to attack America’s agriculture producers and their ability to manage risk. The President is hitting rural America where it hurts most, and all of this is occurring at a time when farm income is expected to decline 56 percent in the past three years.”

“Budget cuts are nothing new to agriculture. Farmers and ranchers have been forced to become experts at doing more with less. Yet, the President’s budget does nothing to tackle our nation’s debt crisis. 

“Farm country is tired of overzealous regulations and persistent attacks on rural America. While the budget proposals are essentially dead on arrival, we must hold USDA and the Administration accountable for their actions and be vigilant in protecting the interests of our hardworking farmers, ranchers, and business owners in rural America.”

Under Chairman Roberts’ leadership, the U.S. Senate soundly rejected a $3 billion cut to crop insurance by a vote of 77-22 last year.