House, Senate Ag Appropriations Subcommittees to Markup Ag Spending Bills
The House Ag Appropriations Subcommittee this morning will hold its markup session on FY 2015 spending. The House bill would provide $20.9 billion in discretionary funding, the same as the Fiscal 2014 enacted level, but about $460 million below the Obama administration’s request. It would give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) far less of an increase than sought. There also could be discord over language involving the purchase of white potatoes under the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program. The House bill calls for $25 million to implement a 2011 food safety law, and below the $150 million the agency recently said it would need, and also well short of the roughly $200 million requested by President Barack Obama. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition notes that the draft bill proposes slashing funding levels for farm bill conservation and renewable energy programs, cutting more than 1 million acres from the Conservation Stewardship Program, over $200 million from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and $60 million from the new Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. The House bill also proposes cutting funding for the Rural Energy for American Program by 40 percent.