USDA would see slight increase as part of $1 trillion FY 2014 spending package

By Derrick Cain

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 14, 2014 - USDA and FDA would receive a combined increase of $350 million in FY 2014 as part of a $1 trillion omnibus appropriations package that would fund 12 federal departments.

The bill, released late Monday, would provide $20.9 billion in discretionary funding which is a $350 million increase over FY 2013 levels. The bill would provide funding for all USDA agencies.

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Several agencies would receive slight increases, or maintained FY 2013 levels. For instance, Rural Development would receive $2.4 billion for a $180 million increase.

The current continuing resolution is set to expire Wednesday and lawmakers are expected to approve a short-term extension at FY 2013 levels for a few days to make time for consideration of the larger, long-term bill.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., lauded the spending agreement.

“We are pleased to have come to a fair, bipartisan agreement on funding the government for 2014,” they said in a joint statement. “Although our differences were many and our deadline short, we were able to a draft a solid piece of legislation that meets the guidelines of the Ryan-Murray deal, keeps the government open, and eliminates the uncertainty and economic instability of stop-gap governing.”

The bill also would provide $404 million to help complete construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility to replace the Plum Island Animal Disease Center. The facility is expected to conduct research in developing countermeasures for animal, human, and zoonotic diseases. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., worked with House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to secure the funding, which was part of the recent budget agreement.

Updated 12:00 p.m. 1/14/14

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