White House finds ag approps bill lacking - The Packer

White House finds ag approps bill lacking

06/26/2012 05:15:00 PM
Tom Karst


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

Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Administration strongly supports robust funding for FDA to continue implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, improve oversight of imports, and invest in the development of medical products, including medical countermeasures.

The Administration requested $4.5 billion in total resources for FDA and the bill provides $3.8 billion, does not include new proposed user fees, and rescinds previous appropriations. The Administration urges the House to adopt the new user fees proposed in the FY 2013 Budget and restore FDA's budget authority.

These new user fees, targeted in areas where the industry derives a direct benefit from FDA's regulatory oversight, provide additional resources that are essential to support FDA's critical mission to make food and medical products safer, and increase access to safe and effective generic drugs and biologics.

The reductions in budget authority also jeopardize FDA's ability to complete its Life Sciences/Biodefense laboratory, an integral part of FDA's regulatory science capacity that will support national and global preparedness for annual and pandemic influenza and other emerging threats.

Riders

The Administration strongly opposes problematic policy and language riders that have no place in funding legislation, including, but not limited to, the following provisions in this bill:
GIPSA Marketing Rule. Section 719 of the bill effectively prevents USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration from further implementing the remaining portions of a rule on conduct violations of the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921.

The provision's proposal to rescind many components of the rule that was finalized in December 2011, would prevent full implementation of this rule, which is needed to clarify conditions for industry compliance with the Packers and Stockyards Act and provide for a fairer marketplace.

Changes to the WIC Food Benefit. Section 743 would prohibit the exclusion of certain foods from the WIC food package, which undermines the science-based approach used in the program. WIC provides supplemental foods that nutrition research has found to be critical for healthy child development that are otherwise lacking in the diets of pregnant women, infants, and children.



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