WASHINGTON – DFL Rep. Collin Peterson blasted House Republicans for passing an agricultural spending bill today that made what he described as “disproportionate” cuts to various agricultural programs.
Peterson, who’s the ranking member on the House Agriculture Committee, has a reputation for working closely and cordially with Republicans, which makes his rhetorical fusillade even more striking.
“Agriculture is under assault in this Congress,” said Peterson in a statement. “I fear that if Congress continues to chip away at farm programs we will be left without an adequate safety net and the end result could potentially cost the government more money, not less.”
One reason Peterson was upset is that farm bills, which are multi-year authorizations, are under the jurisdiction of the Ag Committee. But the House Appropriations Committee made nearly $2 billion in cuts to mandatory spending programs that Peterson says should have been made with the Ag committee’s consent.
The Ag Committee also oversees the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a financial regulator that’s currently helping implement last year’s Dodd-Frank financial overhaul bill. The spending bill passed today makes cuts to the commission that Peterson said would prevent it from implementing and enforcing the law.
All four of Minnesota DFL Representatives voted against the spending bill, as did GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann. Republican Reps. Cravaack, Kline and Paulsen voted for the bill.