The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture has approved a $23 billion dollar ag appropriations bill. The panel rejected all amendments including proposals that would have cut spending across the board and eliminated the Conservation Stewardship Program. The committee did cut funding for USDA's voluntary National Animal Identification System.
Subcommittee Chairman Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., says over $147 million has been spent on NAIS since 2004 and six years later there's still no clear plan from USDA on successful implementation. DeLauro wants to see a mandatory animal identification program and says funding will be held back until the agency develops a clear plan for a mandatory system with measurable goals, long-term funding levels and a plan for successful implementation.
The ag appropriations plan includes $261 million for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a 55% increase over current levels, which is consistent with the administration's request; and more than a billion dollars in discretionary funding for the Natural Resources Conservation Service. It cuts some funding for buildings and facilities, food assistance training and computer programs.