According to the Agricultural Retailers Association, President Barack Obama's recent plan to cut farm support programs has met opposition from top lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. This opposition puts a kink into one of the cost-savings promises the President laid out in his speech to a joint session of Congress recently.
"We'll have to see what specifically the president is talking about, but we just finished the farm bill last year, and I don't think we'll open it up," said Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, also commented on the matter, "I believe it is premature to make any sweeping changes to the makeup of the farm safety net before we have even had the chance to implement the current farm bill."
This pushback came after President Obama called for cutting subsidies to Agribusinesses in his speech to Congress. This was one of a few examples of how he proposed to save $2 trillion from the federal budget over 10 years.
The ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), said that Obama didn't seem to understand the agribusiness programs he was talking about. During the presidential campaign, Obama had proposed limiting direct payments to only farms with incomes of $250,000 or less. That's just a third of the current $750,000 farm income limit set in the 2008 farm bill.