June 28, 2013
Industry News

The New Agricultural Spending Proposition

With the debt ceiling looming in the fall, the White House is threatening to veto yet another bill for agricultural spending, creating fear of a new fiscal cliff.

The New Agricultural Spending Proposition: A Critical Review

The White House's intention to veto the bill, which encompasses the operational budget for entities like the USDA, FDA, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is set to face the Rules Committee for evaluation. However, it hasn't received floor time yet, raising concerns.

The primary reason behind the White House administration's veto threat is the failure to implement the Dodd-Frank reform law, particularly the absence of a $120 million allocation to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The Obama administration contends that the bill poses significant challenges to key investments in financial oversight, endangering Wall Street reform, and obstructs the execution of legally mandated financial regulations. Furthermore, it imposes harmful cuts across multiple sectors, including rural economic development, nutrition programs, food safety, agricultural research, and international food aid.

In the past year, the administration has threatened to veto every House bill presented to the Rules Committee, even those with minimal controversy, such as a Veterans Affairs bill.

Congress' Efforts to Address the Issue

In the 2014 budget, the House is operating with a budget allocation about $91 billion less than what President Obama and Senate Democrats advocate. Presently, the House allocates $19.5 billion for the Agriculture bill in discretionary funds, while the Senate is advocating for $20.9 billion. Congress is currently convened to reconcile the Senate and House budgets.

Criticism from the Obama Administration

The Obama administration emphasizes the importance of completing a suitable framework for all appropriations bills supporting economic recovery. This framework should enable substantial investments in education, infrastructure, innovations, and national security to ensure the country's competitiveness in the future.

The White House also scrutinizes the House's failure to reform international food aid, a program enabling the US government to purchase food from foreign countries. The proposed cuts could impact up to 12 million people facing hunger in the United States. Additionally, the administration expresses concerns about dangerously low funding for the FDA, WIC, and meat inspections, which could jeopardize the nation's overall well-being.


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