Obama looks again to drop crop insurance

April 10, 2013 at 1:46 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 10 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama has renewed a proposal to decrease crop insurance subsidies and cut out direct payments to farmers to save $37.8 billion over 10 years.

The proposal is part of the president's Department of Agriculture budget for fiscal year 2014, which begins in October.

The proposals have been penciled in for previous budgets, but not been approved.

The White House budget proposal released Wednesday includes $22.6 billion in discretionary spending for the department, the equivalent to the 2012 level enacted by Congress.

The proposal presented to Congress calls for spending $4 billion for renewable energy and environmental improvement loans and $383 million for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, a $119 million increase over the 2012 enacted level.

It also proposes to spend $7.1 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, which includes as part of a nutrition safety net the White House said touches the lives of more than 47 million people.

The White House also proposed raising lending for water safety and waste water treatment as a means of saving money.

"Higher loan levels at lower interest rates means that less grant funding is needed to support each facility," the administration's budget proposal said.

More lending, therefore, means fewer grants are paid out, which saves the taxpayer money, the proposal said.

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