House passes increased ag spending bill

The House of Representatives has passed the agriculture appropriations bill by a vote of 266 to 160.

As passed, the bill would increase spending in fiscal year 2010 by nearly eleven percent over 2009, to nearly 23 billion dollars. The bulk of the increase goes to USDA’s Women, Infants and Children feeding program and international food aid. In heated debate, GOP Congressmen Paul Broun and Jack Kingston of Georgia – were among those who criticized the spending increase, “That’s outrageous!” “Because it’s clear, more spending does not create more jobs.”

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, chair of the Agriculture-FDA Appropriations Subcommittee, defended the increases. “The increases in this bill are not based on the belief that we should just throw money at the challenges that we face. The increases are about meeting the federal government’s obligation,” says DeLauro.

The bill also contains more spending on food safety efforts at USDA and FDA.

(Ken Anderson contributed to this story)

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