House appropriators have sent to the full House, the FY ’18 Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration spending bill, reversing many of the president’s proposed cuts.
The $145 billion bipartisan House bill is $4 billion above the president’s request, but $8.6 billion below current spending.
Still, it restores many of President Trump’s cuts to rural development, research, crop insurance and international feeding programs.
Appropriations Chair, New Jersey Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen:
“In addition to these important agricultural support and research programs, this bill provides a total of $2.6 billion for rural development. These programs help grow our economy by developing critical rural infrastructure and by providing important business and industry loans to help small businesses thrive in rural markets.”
SNAP is still cut by almost $5 billion, to $74 billion, but an amount that meets SNAP enrollment and Democrats can live with. Democrats embraced the bill’s inclusion of key trade measures. Connecticut Democrat Rosa DeLauro…
“The language will insure that no funds can be used to finalize any rule that allow chicken raised and slaughtered in china can be imported unless the Secretary of Agriculture can assure us that Chinese food safety systems are equivalent. Also included is my request to address the ongoing issue with Brazilian beef, recently USDA halted all importation of Brazilian beef products due to growing concerns with regards to food safety.”
The House USDA spending bill includes $1.8 billion for the new USDA trade mission headed by an Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. The bill reverses the president’s proposal to eliminate funding for the nation’s two international feeding programs, fully staffs county Farm Service Agency Offices, and keeps open 17 USDA research facilities the administration wanted to close.
The bill includes $2.8 billion for Ag research, more than $900 million for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, APHIS, about the same for conservation programs, and just over $1 billion for food safety and inspection.