Ag appropriations bill moves forward

Ag appropriations bill moves forward

The $147.7 billion FY ’17 agriculture appropriations bill passed the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture last week with increased funding for rural development, research, and implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

The bill includes $21.3 billion in discretionary funds, which is $451 million below FY ’16, and $126.4 billion in mandatory spending. The bill provides an additional $113 million for rural development and an increase of $33 million to the Food and Drug Administration for implementation of the FSMA.

In dealing with antibiotic and animals, the bill provides $10 million for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for on-farm monitoring of resistance levels. The bill includes $3 million for FDA to promote “understanding and acceptance” of agriculture biotechnology to consumers. Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, is expected to raise objections with this provision when the bill is considered by the full appropriations committee.

To help pay for the bill, the subcommittee is proposing cuts to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Resource Conservation Partnership Program. The House Appropriations Committee will consider the bill tomorrow. 

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