A prominent Minnesota voice on agricultural issues says the Republican budget road map proposed today in the U.S. House means the prospects are dim for a farm bill this year.
Under the budget plan released by Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan, agriculture programs would face a $33 billion spending cut over the next decade while food stamps would see a $123 billion reduction over the same period.
All this comes as Congress is preparing to write a new farm bill to replace one that expires in September.
Minnesotan Collin Peterson is the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee.
While he has a reputation for working across the aisle, Peterson did not mince words about the GOP plan.
"This is strictly to make it look like they're doing something. They're not," Peterson said. "What they're actually doing is undermining the ability for us to get a farm bill done."
The deep cuts will endanger the delicate negotiations among dozens of interest groups and will likely set those groups against each other, Peterson said.