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Statement of Administration Policy: S. 1714 - Farm Bi11

October 24, 1985


(Senator Helms (R) North Carolina)

The Administration opposes enactment of S. 1714 in its present form because it fails to make those fundamental reforms necessary to assure long-term prosperity in the agricultural sector without continually escalating program costs. If this legislation were to be presented to the President in its present form, the President's Senior Advisors would be unable to recommend its approval.

As presently written, the Committee bill:

— is $ 20-$30 billion over the Congressional Budget Resolution in CCC funding;

— continues to insulate production decisions from true market prices by freezing subsidized target price levels well above market prices, thus encouraging overproduction;

— fails to target Federal financial assistance to family-size farms;

— fails to make needed reforms in the outdated sugar, honey, peanut, wool, and mohair programs; and

— requires expenditures for an injurious intermediate export credit program.

The Administration believes that an acceptable 1985 farm bill must contain the following elements:

— Establishment of commodity price supports that allow commodities to become competitive in international markets;

— A one-year freeze in income supports, with a five-percent reduction in each subsequent year;

— A reduction in dairy support prices as long as surpluses exist;

— Targeting of income and price support benefits to 1egitimate family farm operations;

— Modification of the outdated sugar, honey, peanut, wool, and mohair programs toward greater market orientation; and

— Provision for administrative discretion in managing export credit programs.

The Administration will support amendments which will improve the bill to assure a more market-oriented agricultural economy at a cost which does not threaten our overall fiscal policies.

Ronald Reagan, Statement of Administration Policy: S. 1714 - Farm Bi11 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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