Work toward a budget to fund the federal government for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year continued this week, with word that Republicans and Democrats might land on cutting approximately $33 billion from overall FY2010 spending, including some outlays to entitlement programs.
Negotiations are largely closed door, though Vice President Joe Biden, the White House’s representative at the talks, said this week there was “good progress” toward an agreement, which must be reached and finalized before next Friday to avoid a government shutdown.
The federal government is on its sixth short-term funding bill, or continuing resolution, since the fiscal year began Oct. 1, 2010.
The continued uncertainty in how and at what level programs will be funded is taking a toll on operations at the federal level.
Federal officials have told media outlets they are spending enormous amounts of time on administrative issues related to the budget, and fear the ultimate cuts will dig deep into programs, having long-term impacts on essential government operations in areas like research and trade facilitation.
While NAWG anticipates significant budget cuts, the organization’s staff and grower leaders are working with a broad spectrum of agriculture groups and on Capitol Hill to urge proportionality and to ensure program cuts don’t do long-term damage to the economy.
NAWG will continue to update member-states on this issue and keep in close contact with federal agencies that administer key agriculture programs as they examine how to achieve required cut targets.