Congress passed the bipartisan omnibus appropriations bill that will keep the federal government operating for the remainder of this fiscal year. The $1.012 trillion bill is based off the Ryan-Murray budget compromise.
Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a joint statement, “We are pleased to have come to a fair, bipartisan agreement on funding the government for 2014. Although our differences were many and our deadline short, we were able to draft a solid piece of legislation that meets the guidelines of the Ryan-Murray deal, keeps the government open, and eliminates the uncertainty and economic instability of stop-gap governing.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received an increase of $350 million in discretionary funding for a total of $20.9 billion. Highlights for USDA/FDA include:
· Horse Slaughter - prohibits funding being used by USDA for inspection of U.S. horse slaughter facilities.
· COOL - report language is included that specifically does not approve of USDA’s continued implementation, enforcement, and associated spending relating to the country-of-origin labeling (COOL) program. The report language states, “It is strongly recommended that USDA not force increased costs on industry and consumers and that the department delay implementation and enforcement of the final rule until the World Trade Organization has completed all decisions related to cases” filed by Canada and Mexico.
· The Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) would receive $79.9 billion.
· Grain, Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) receives $40.2 million.
· Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) receives $1.011 billion. This should meet all current and future inspection requirements.
· Natural Resources Conservation Service receives $812.9 million.
· FDA receives $2.552 billion, an increase of $217 million over FY ’13; $53 million of the increase is for implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
· Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) receives $821.7 million, the same as FY ’13.
· Farm Service Agency receives $1.5 billion, similar to FY ’13.
· Supplemental Nutrition Program for Woman, Infants, and Children (WIC) in funded at $6.716 billion, an increase of $194 million.
· Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) receives mandatory funding of $82.169 billion.