National Editor Tom Karst Seems that the Obama Administration isn't sold on the House agriculture appropriations bill. Check out this SAP (Statement of Administration Policy) on the legislation, which has emerged from committee but has not been approved by the full House.
From that document, some highlights...
The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 5973, making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013.
In addition to the concern outlined above, the Administration strongly opposes the bill as reported by the Committee. The bill severely undermines key investments in financial oversight in a manner that would cripple Wall Street reform. It also imposes harmful cuts in rural economic development, renewable energy development, nutrition programs, food safety, and international food aid. Investing in these areas is critical to the Nation's economic growth, security, and global competitiveness. The Administration also strongly objects to the inclusion of any ideological and political provisions that are beyond the scope of funding legislation.
If the President were presented with H.R. 5973, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.
The Administration would like to take this opportunity to share additional views regarding the Committee's version of the bill.
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The Administration is concerned with the funding level for WIC in the bill and encourages the House to provide the $7 billion level requested in the FY 2013 Budget. WIC program costs are highly variable. The Committee's low funding level creates a risk that the contingency reserve, which is normally used to cover unexpected changes in food prices or participation, would be needed to cover anticipated costs, thus threatening the program's ability to manage shortfalls.
Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). The Administration urges the House to fund CSFP at the FY 2013 Budget request. The Committee bill level could result in as many as 55,000 participants – the majority of whom are vulnerable seniors – losing eligibility. CSFP provides a supplementary food package with the nutrients typically lacking in the diets of its target population.
Program Cuts, Consolidations, and Savings. The Administration urges the House to accept additional cuts, consolidations, and savings proposed in the FY 2013 Budget for USDA, including an estimated $75 million in savings from blocking spending of the Good Performance Rebate and $15 million in savings from termination of the Watershed Rehabilitation Program.
Department of Health and Human Services