NC lawmakers want tobacco program protected

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Members of the state’s congressional delegation want the federal tobacco program protected from expected budget cuts.

WRAL-TV reported that key members of the state’s delegation are asking the US Agriculture Department not to include federal payments to tobacco farmers in a part of the budget subject to the next round of across-the-board cuts.

The next round of sequestration is to take effect Jan. 15 unless Congress comes up with a new budget.

US Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan and US Reps. Mike McIntyre, Renee Ellmers and Richard Hudson say the tobacco program should be exempt from the cuts.

A settlement reached with tobacco farmers in 2004 calls for payments to growers through next year.

North Carolina farmers are supposed to get the largest payment next year.

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