The House Appropriations Committee Thursday approved the fiscal year 2014 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which will now head to the House floor for consideration. The proposed legislation funds important agricultural and food programs and services, including food safety, animal and plant health programs, rural development and farm services, marketplace oversight and nutrition programs.

The bill totals $19.5 billion in discretionary funding, which is $1.3 billion below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level and approximately equal to the current level caused by automatic sequestration spending cuts. This total is $516 million below the president’s request for these programs.

“I applaud the Committee approval of this bill. From keeping our food and drug supply the safest in the world, to supporting our farmers and ranchers who create millions of American jobs, to helping our most vulnerable families put meals on the table, the funding in this bill is critical to our nation’s economy,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said.

“The bill reported out of Committee today will help America’s agricultural research remain cutting edge, maintain vibrant rural communities, provide nutrition to those most vulnerable, keep our markets competitive in the global economy, and maintain the safest food and drug supply in the world. And, it does this while cutting spending by $1.3 billion below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level, ”Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Robert Aderholt said.

Below are some of the amendments to the FY 2014 Agriculture Appropriations bill approved:

  • An amendment adds report language on several topics within the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration.  
  • An amendment adds bill language to establish a Congressional Commission on Hunger.
  • An amendment prohibits funding for the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) to implement certain regulations that would adversely impact livestock producers.
  • An amendment adds report language on reducing food-borne illness with regard to poultry inspections. The amendment was adopted on voice vote.
  • An amendment prohibits funding in the bill from going to states unless their SNAP and WIC participants are deemed eligible in compliance with current law.
  • An amendment adds language expressing a sense of Congress that Congress should not pass laws that would increase hunger in the United States.
  • An amendment prohibits funding to reclassify "rural" areas as it relates to certain rural housing programs.
  • Anamendment prohibits funding for inspections of horse slaughter facilities in the United States.

For the text of the bill and report, visit:http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-113hr-sc-ap-fy2014-agriculture-subcommitteedraft.pdf and http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hrpt-113-hr-2014-agriculture.pdf.