Union Statement on House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations21 May 2014
US - Yesterday (Tuesday, 20 May), both the US House of Representatives and US Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittees marked up legislation for the 2015 fiscal year.
National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson previously submitted testimony to both the House and Senate subcommittees outlining a number of priorities, some of which were reflected in the draft legislation. NFU was also part of broad coalition letters that opposed any attempts to undermine Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) or the US Secretary of Agriculture’s authority to enforce the Packers and Stockyards Act.
"I commend House and Senate appropriators for leaving the COOL law alone. Consumers want to know the origins of their food and farmers and ranchers want to tell them. There’s no need to do harm to COOL," said Mr Johnson.
"It is concerning, however, that the House bill included a harmful rider that would allow abusive market behavior by livestock and poultry processors," said Mr Johnson. "NFU appreciates the outspoken opposition to this rider by Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, during the subcommittee markup and urge the full Appropriations Committee in the House to follow suit and remove it."
The House bill cuts important funding from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, limiting the agency’s ability to implement reforms included in the 2010 Dodd-Frank law and protect farmers and other end-users from excessive speculation.
"NFU opposes the House’s attempt to rehash 2014 Farm Bill battles by cutting funding for farm bill energy and conservation programmes. These programmes were robustly debated throughout the long farm bill reauthorization process, and Congress’ actions must not be undermined through appropriations. I encourage the House to emulate the Senate’s more reasonable approach as the bill progresses."
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