Officials, groups react to Biden budget | TheFencePost.com
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Officials, groups react to Biden budget

 

Officials and agriculture and food groups have reacted to the budget President Biden released on Monday, March 28.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said, “Earlier this month, President Biden laid out his vision for our country at the State of the Union by prioritizing investments in education, health care, growing the workforce, and building our economy from the bottom up and the middle out, not from the top down.“

“He rejected isolationism, and called for rebuilding partnerships with foreign allies and partners and projecting U.S. global leadership consistent with our values.



“Today’s budget is a reflection of those priorities. It makes investments in supporting our communities, addressing the climate crisis, combating COVID and preparing for future pandemics, caring for our veterans, and provides the funding for the defense, diplomacy, and humanitarian aid that are needed to address Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the abuses of other authoritarian regimes.”

Leahy added, “In the coming weeks, it is essential that Congress, on a bipartisan and bicameral basis, work with the president to negotiate budget toplines so that we can commence the appropriations process for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1.”



He also said he looks forward to working with Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the ranking member on the Senate Appropriations Committee, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, the ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee.

But Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., the ranking member on the House Budget Committee said, “Under President Biden, the American people are finding it more difficult and more expensive to put food on their tables, gas in their cars, and clothes on their backs”

“The president has presided over one developing crisis after another – none of which are happening by accident. Whether it’s the inflation crisis, energy crisis, border crisis, a supply chain crisis, crime crisis, or others, all are the direct result of the policies President Biden has pursued, aided and abetted by complete one-party Democrat rule in congress.

“This budget submission from the president shows he has learned nothing over the past year — nothing about how his policies have failed the American people — and he intends to double down on those very policies. The president’s 2023 budget deliberately makes every crisis he created worse.”

MISPLACED PRIORITIES

Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., the ranking member on the Senate Agriculture committee, said, “The vision President Biden has laid out for USDA is fraught with misplaced priorities.”

“Food inflation is higher than it has been in over 40 years. The international community is bracing for global food shortages. Yet the president remains focused on his climate agenda rather than the needs of our agriculture community and hardworking families struggling to put food on the table.

“The word ‘climate’ appears over 100 times in USDA’s budget. It appears almost as often as the word ‘agriculture’ does. And, once again, President Biden has suggested raising taxes on hardworking family farmers and ranchers to pay for all this spending.

“Thankfully, this proposal is nothing more than a blueprint. Congress has the final say in how money is allocated, and we already rejected President Biden’s Build Back Better plan. I suspect the White House’s attempt to repackage it in this budget proposal will meet the same fate.”

Eric Deeble, policy director for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, said “This presidential budget request builds meaningfully on the priorities of the administration advanced during its first year including additional investments in climate change resilience and research, equitable access for all farmers and communities, and a deconsolidated food system that returns more value to producers and rural businesses.“

“We are also pleased to see that research and extension programs would receive considerable new investments, including funding the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program at its full authorization of $60 million.”

“SARE’s farmer-driven research empowers producers to develop and share innovations with their peers for improving soil health and building resilient food systems,” noted Deeble. “These important research outcomes can be widely shared with producers working to improve their resilience with help of an additional investment of $24 million for the USDA Climate Hubs.”

NSAC also published its own appropriations chart, and said that the president’s budget request includes incorrect enacted funding levels for 2022 and and the official budgetary tables are therefore “subject to considerable revision.”

The National WIC Association noted that the budget includes $6 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, including an extension of the increased Cash Value Benefit for fruits and vegetables through fiscal year 2023.

NWA also noted the budget also outlines the USDA’s plans to update the WIC food packages to reflect science-based recommendations consistent with the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

FOOD SAFETY AND NUTRITION

Brian Dittmeier, senior director of public policy at the NWA said, “As the administration prioritizes consistent access to nutritious foods for all Americans, the president’s budget wisely puts WIC front-and-center and calls for an extension of the effective WIC benefit bump through fiscal year 2023, ensuring that more than 4.75 million women and children participating in WIC can access more fruits and vegetables.”

Center for Budget and Policy Priorities President Sharon Parrott said, “President Biden’s 2023 budget calls for a range of policies that would boost opportunity and reduce poverty, improve health and well-being, and advance widely shared prosperity, funded by proposals to make the nation’s tax system stronger and fairer.“

“The U.S. has long underinvested in our families and children: the president’s call to reverse that trend is both good economics and consistent with our nation’s values,” Parrott said.

The Alliance for a Stronger Food and Drug Administration noted that the FDA budget included $76 million in new funding for food safety and nutrition.

FDA noted that the increase included $43 million for its New Era of Smarter Food Safety program and $14 million for its Health and Safe Food for All initiative that will focus specifically on better protecting mothers, infants and young children through contamination limits in food, product testing requirements, notification of anticipated significant interruptions in the supply of infant formula or essential medical foods, as well as modernization of dietary supplement regulation.

“We will be reviewing the detailed budget request to provide additional information about the strengths of the request and any areas in which we think additional emphasis is needed,” the alliance said.


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