House passes ag appropriations bill

At presstime, the House of Representatives had just passed H.R. 2744, the fiscal year 2006 agriculture appropriations bill, by a vote of 408-18. The $100.3 billion bill provides $16.8 billion in discretionary funding with the rest going to mandatory programs. This is a 17% increase in mandatory spending, primarily for farm subsidies and food stamps. The major issue for the livestock industry was the

At presstime, the House of Representatives had just passed H.R. 2744, “the fiscal year 2006 agriculture appropriations bill,” by a vote of 408-18. The $100.3 billion bill provides $16.8 billion in discretionary funding with the rest going to mandatory programs. This is a 17% increase in mandatory spending, primarily for farm subsidies and food stamps. The major issue for the livestock industry was the one-year delay of the mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) of meat products. Other key items include:

  • Food Safety and Inspection Service funding increased by $20 million over last year, to $837 million.

  • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service funded at $829 million, a $16-million increase over last year.

  • BSE detection/prevention funded at last year's level — $90 million.

  • The bill doesn't include White House-proposed user fees for meat and poultry inspection.

The Senate Ag Appropriations subcommittee was to consider the legislation in late June.