House Agriculture Committee leaders reacted following the Tuesday (March 12) release of Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's fiscal year 2014 budget resolution.
"A fundamental part of governing entails writing and passing a budget. I applaud Chairman Ryan for once again demonstrating an ability to lead by producing a budget -- and one that balances in 10 years,” said Oklahoma Rep. Frank Lucas, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. “This is in sharp contrast to our Democratic counterparts in the Senate who have not produced a plan in four years and President Obama who has yet to submit a budget proposal this year.
"The House Agriculture Committee remains committed to being a part of the solution in addressing our nation’s debt crisis. Last year, we developed a reform-minded, fiscally responsible farm bill that contributed to deficit reduction and we will continue on that same course this year. We will consider the suggestions contained in Chairman Ryan’s budget, as is customary for the Agriculture Committee to consider a variety of viewpoints when crafting comprehensive legislation."
Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson, ranking member, was much less impressed with Ryan’s effort. “For the third time, the House Majority has put forward a political messaging document rather than a realistic budget that makes the balanced, tough choices we need to get our country back on solid financial footing. The American people are tired of political games. It’s time to get serious.
“The House Agriculture Committee has repeatedly shown that it is possible to work together to find budget savings in a bipartisan fashion by making balanced cuts across farm bill programs. It wasn’t an easy process but we did it because that’s our job. If the House Republicans do take the Ryan budget numbers seriously, I don’t see how they can be serious about passing long-term farm policy this year. If these are the budget priorities for the House Majority, agriculture might best be served by again extending the current farm bill.”