Ag Appropriations Bill Passes House Committee

The House and Senate Ag Appropriations Subcommittees have approved the Fiscal Year 2015 ag appropriations bill. The bill provides a total of 20.575-billion dollars for agriculture, rural development, FDA and related agencies and 100-million dollars in disaster relief spending. According to reports- several Democratic members of the House subcommittee objected to the bill’s provisions to establish a program to grant some schools waivers from the school lunch and breakfast rules implemented under the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act – and force USDA to allow potatoes to be purchased under the SNAP’s WIC program. Representative Rosa De Lauro of Connecticut is the only member who voted against the bill and says she will offer a number of amendments at the full committee markup – expected May 29th.
Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow is strongly opposed to the effort in the bill to gut conservation and energy programs passed in the farm bill. Stabenow says these irresponsible cuts to some of the most important farm bill programs can’t be allowed to happen. She says the bill also unwinds the landmark Child Nutrition law by undermining efforts to improve the health of school children. When Congress passes laws with strong bipartisan majorities – like the farm bill – Stabenow says the appropriations bills must reflect the will of Congress and the letter and spirit of those laws. The proposed Ag Appropriations bill will be reviewed and marked up by the Senate Ag Appropriations beginning tomorrow at 9 am central time Thursday morning.