Under orders to cut agriculture spending by $3 billion, Republicans in Congress have proposed reducing food programs for the poor by $574 million and conservation programs by $1 billion, The Associated Press has learned.
The proposal by the chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., also would cut payments to farmers by 2.5 percent across the board.
The plan faces hostility from congressional Democrats and other critics who say the cuts would hurt food stamps and conservation programs.
Payments to farmers would fall by $1.145 billion over five years. But that is considerably less severe than what President Bush had proposed.