Ag spending bill advances to the full House

The House Appropriations Committee has approved an ag spending bill for Fiscal Year 2024 and it will now be considered by the full House.

The $25.3 billion bill invests in programs at the USDA and Food and Drug Administration, but it is getting mixed reviews from agriculture groups.

An area of disagreement is a rider that would prevent USDA from publishing rules to strengthen the Packers and Stockyards Act.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says including the rider in the budget is a win for cattle producers, because the rules would open up frivolous complaints and lawsuits and would hurt cattle producers’ ability to capture premiums.

But the National Farmers Union says the provisions are harmful and would not allow USDA to protect farmers and ranchers experiencing abuses of market power in the meat industry.

NFU also says they are not in favor of the approved budget because it would cut funding to help distressed borrowers.

NCBA says there are good things included in the bill, including $10 million to purchase electronic identification tags and infrastructure for disease traceability.

Agri-Pulse is reporting the bill is expected to have little chance of passing in the Senate.

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