Budget shift opposed

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Feb 21, 2005
by WLJ
Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), sharply criticized the Bush administration’s proposal to transfer $300 million out of a program for U.S. farm commodity donations.
The proposal, presented in the fiscal year 2006 budget for the U.S. Department of Agricu1ture, would shift the funds from USDA’s P.L. 460 Title II foreign food assistance program to a U.S. Agency for International Development program that doesn’t rely solely on U.S. goods for donations.
Goodlatte, in a statement released Feb. 14, said the funds should be kept for the USDA program because it helps American farmers since the money is used to purchase American agricultural products and thereby stimulate the U.S. economy. This proposal would pull $300 million out of taxpayers’ pockets and drop it into foreign markets.”
An official with USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service said the proposal to shift the funds to USAid that can use the money to buy foreign food closer to disaster victims, was made in response to the tsunami that hit Asia this year.
But Goodlatte said: “In the rare case that American products cannot reach the hands of the recipients quickly and efficiently, I think it is acceptable, after consultation with the agriculture committee, to use the money in local markets to ensure the aid is delivered swiftly. It is absolutely foolish to set aside a large portion of the budget for such limited occurrences.”