The Senate approved legislation to fund the government through September 30th on a 73 to 26 vote Wednesday. The leadership of the House Appropriations Committee has said it will take the measure – without changes – to a final vote in the House to avert any threat of a government shutdown on March 27th. The measure does include an amendment to prevent furloughs of meat and poultry inspectors. The amendment was adopted by voice vote. The amendment – endorsed by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Tuesday – would transfer approximately 55-million dollars in existing USDA funds to FSIS in order to ensure food inspectors are not furloughed. Furloughs would force meat processing facilities to stop operating because federal law requires facilities to have inspectors on the production line in order to operate.
The Senate’s continuing resolution also includes an amendment to prohibit the expenditure of federal funds to enforce the Environmental Protection Agency’s Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure rule against farmers.
Source: NAFB News Service