National Farmers Union (NFU) expressed disappointment today at the mark up of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Fiscal Year 2013 agriculture appropriations bill. The bill was approved by voice vote and will move on to the House Appropriations Committee.
The bill includes $19.4 billion in discretionary funding, which represents a cut of $365 million from last year’s level, and falls $1.7 billion short of President Obama’s request.
“Compared to some of the proposals that this committee has produced in recent years, the FY 2013 appropriations bill is less severe in its percentage cuts,” said NFU President Roger Johnson in a news release. “The bill still contains unacceptable provisions that would effectively remove any possibility that rules to restore fairness for livestock and poultry producers could be implemented, including a clearer definition of competitive injury. These common sense regulations should be put in place immediately, and it is extremely disappointing that language to prevent that is in the subcommittee’s bill. This language should be removed before the appropriations bill becomes law.”
Additionally, the bill approved by the subcommittee cuts $25 million from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the agency that has been tasked with increased authority over agricultural and financial markets because of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
“Now is not the time to be cutting from an agency that has an important role to play in preventing the next financial meltdown. Our economy needs stronger rules and more referees – not fewer,” said Johnson. “The bill passed by the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee is in need of considerable improvement in order to better serve family farmers and ranchers.”