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"An effort to prevent horse slaughter for meat stumbled in the House Appropriations Committee today, as lawmakers approved a $145 billion spending bill for agriculture programs. Lawmakers brushed back, on a voice vote, an amendment offered by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) to bar the inspection of horses under the Federal Meat Inspection Act — a prohibition that's already in place under a fiscal 2018 spending measure. The bill passed 31-20...The bill totals $145.1 billion in mandatory and discretionary spending, or $922 million less than the current fiscal year. Discretionary spending of $23.3 billion would be a $14 million increase from this year. Whether the bill moves to consideration on the House floor remains to be seen. It could be combined with other measures as part of an omnibus package. The fiscal year begins Oct. 1. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) cheered inclusion of an additional $1 million to help farmers make the transition to organic production, which Aderholt included in his manager's amendment. That funding keeps the program's level even with this year, she said. The bill rejects the Trump administration's proposal to slash many programs, including crop insurance and conservation. It ignores the administration's request to close 20 agricultural research facilities. With $1.7 billion for farm production and conservation, the bill would also ensure that local Farm Service Agency offices remain open, Aderholt said...Lawmakers also approved amendments by Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) to allow potatoes to be served as vegetables in school lunches and by Rep. David Young (R-Iowa) to ensure that labeling of bioengineered salmon or finfish be done in accordance with the disclosure law passed by Congress in 2016."

Posted May 16th, 2018
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