House Panel Okays Ag Spending Bill

The House Appropriations Committee approved the Agriculture Appropriations Bill for the 2013 fiscal year early last week.

On June 19, the $19.4 billion piece of legislation was approved by voice vote to fund government agencies and programs regarding food safety, animal and plant health, rural development and farm services, and nutrition programs. The bill would reduce spending compared to last year by $365 million. The White House has announced the president will veto the House bill if it reaches his desk in its current form.

Meanwhile, six amendments were adopted concerning farmers income limits and nutrition programs. Also among them was an amendment proposed by Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) to re-instate the prohibition of horse slaughter in the United States by excluding horse meat from USDA inspection. Each amendment was passed on a voice vote.

The Senate Appropriations Committee allotted $20.785 billion for the 2013 fiscal year, and with the recent approval of the Farm Bill, the pressure is on the House to move along with their version of the bill.

While the House could vote on the bill this week, action may be delayed until after the July 4 recess.

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