Senate Ag Appropriations Bill Helps Many

Senate Ag Appropriations Bill Helps Many

Dairy, food safety and NAIS addressed in bill.

More than two-thirds of the $124 billion Agriculture Appropriations bill passed by the Senate this week, about $86 billion, will go for domestic food programs, including $61 billion for food stamps.  The bill's allotment for the school lunch program will go up 12%.

 

Senators voted to add $350 million dollars to lift milk price supports, the amount the government pays for surplus milk products, by an estimated $1.50 per hundredweight. The Senate bill cuts by one-half funding for the National Animal Identification System to $7.3 million dollars. The bill also would repeal a ban on poultry products from China as long as the Agriculture Department agrees to step up inspections of those imports. The House bill would maintain the ban on Chinese poultry and they eliminated funding for NAIS. The House and Senate will now conference to resolve differences in the two bills.

 

The Senate Ag appropriations measure also funds agricultural research, efforts to combat destructive pests, crop insurance, food inspection and land conservation programs. It also provides $3 billion for the Food and Drug Administration budget, a 14% increase designed to boost staffing for food and drug safety inspections. The bill also provides an almost 40% increase to the Food for Peace program.

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