The National Cotton Council has issued a statement saying it was deeply appreciative for efforts by leaders of the House appropriations and agriculture committees to successfully convince the House to reject a series of amendments to the FY12 agriculture appropriations bill (H.R. 2112).

Those amendments would have severely compromised the cotton program by amending the 2008 farm law two years before it is scheduled to expire. The NCC also complimented leaders on developing the legislation while working under severe budget pressure.

“Once again agriculture was asked to contribute to deficit reduction,” NCC Chairman Charles Parker said, “and while the cuts in this bill are difficult to accept, the leaders are to be complimented for their efforts to preserve funding for key programs and agencies as best they could.”

An amendment, offered by Rep. Flake (R-Ariz.) that was defeated on a voice vote, would have terminated counter-cyclical payments for upland cotton, prohibited repayment of cotton marketing assistance loans at the adjusted world price or issuance of loan deficiency payments for upland cotton, and would have prohibited cotton storage payments.

“Fortunately, a blatant and inappropriate circumvention of the farm program development process was avoided with this amendment’s defeat,” Parker said.

 “It would have targeted cotton specifically and undermined a critical safety net for cotton farmers who face uncertain economic and weather climates and seriously jeopardized an industry that makes significant contributions to our nation’s economic well-being.”

Parker was referring to the fact that the U.S. cotton industry provides some 191,000 jobs and generates $27.6 billion in revenue with an additional downstream of 427,000 jobs and $123 billion in generated revenue.