USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack recently spoke before the House Appropriations Committee's Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies subcommittee. His discussion focused on the President's 2012 budget. The proposed budget is for $130 billion, a reduction of $3 billion below the FY 2011 annualized continuing resolution. The Secretary told the subcommittee this budget makes difficult cuts to programs.

According to the Secretary, "We are proposing legislative changes to target reductions in farm program payments, which would save $2.5 billion over 10 years, while only affecting 2% of participants. In addition, legislation will be proposed to reduce premiums for the catastrophic coverage option under the crop insurance program providing a savings to taxpayers of $1.8 billion over 10 years.

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