Blunt says food aid needs closer look

As Republicans propose steep cuts in the federal budget, Missouri GOP Senator Roy Blunt – the new ranking member of the Senate Ag Appropriations Subcommittee – tells Brownfield cuts should be considered everywhere.

“The chairman of that (sub)committee is Herb Kohl from Wisconson and I intend to do everything I can to work with Chairman Kohl,” says Blunt. “I want to be sure we are doing the right kinds of things for American farm families.”

House Republicans proposed tens of billions of appropriations cuts late last week that Blunt says would go back to 2008 spending levels.

 “I don’t know anybody that doesn’t think we were spending plenty of money in 2008. That’s a good short-term target,” Blunt says. “And, frankly, we need to be more focused on the results we get rather than only proving we care about something more by spending more on it.”

 Blunt says nutrition funding – which could account for 75 percent of ag spending in the next Farm Bill – should not be exempt.

Are there better ways to deliver the food assistance programs without assuming that they just are untouchable and we’ll just look at the 25 percent that impacts direct payments and farm families and rural communities and cut that and take everything out of that?” Blunt offers.

Blunt says direct payments are lower now because of higher commodity prices and he advocates keeping programs in place that encourage farmers to continue to compete in the marketplace.

AUDIO: Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) (6 min. MP3)

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