The House and Senate this week came together in passage of spending bills for fiscal year 2020. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, says, “bipartisan cooperation has made this possible.”
The spending package for agriculture includes $23.5 billion in discretionary funding, $451 million above fiscal year 2019 enacted levels. It also includes $1.5 billion in disaster funding for farmers and ranchers that was set to expire at the end of this year.
Additionally, the bill includes $550 million for the rural broadband ReConnect Pilot program, along with full funding of the Farmer and Rancher Stress Assistance Network, and reinstating the expired biodiesel tax credit retroactively through 2022.
As farm groups welcomed the spending package, the National Milk Producers Federation applauded the legislation for including direction on dairy imitating products using labels containing dairy terms. The Food and Drug Administration provisions include language reaffirming bipartisan congressional concern with mislabeled imitation dairy products, directing FDA to enforce its own rules on labeling.