August 3, 2022
On July 28, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its twelve FY23 appropriations bills. The nearly $1.7 trillion fiscal year 2023 appropriations package includes the appropriations bill for the USDA and FDA, which provides discretionary funding of $27.072 billion, an increase of $2.3 billion or 9 percent over fiscal year 2022. Last week, the House passed six of its 12 FY23 appropriations bills by a 220-207 party-line vote, which included Agriculture-FDA, Energy and Water, Financial Services, Interior-Environment, Military Construction-VA, and Transportation-HUD appropriations.
There are major issues with the remaining six bills – Legislative Branch, Labor, Health & Human Services and Education, Defense, Homeland Security and Commerce-Justice-Science and State-Foreign Ops. These are not expected to be considered on the House floor due to a lack of support before the August recess. Preliminary discussions have begun on a Continuing Resolution (CR) to extend government funding past September 30.
UEP had several priorities for this year’s appropriation process, which are included in the recently released Senate agriculture appropriations bill:
- The Committee remains concerned with the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and encourages continued coordination with state animal health officials to mitigate the spread of the virus. The Committee also urges USDA to increase engagement with poultry producers to educate on proactive measures to reduce the further spread of HPAI , utilizing existing supplemental funding to continue these efforts.
- The Committee directs USDA to coordinate among all relevant agencies under its authority to update and, where applicable, develop consistent, easily replicated formulas annually to estimate market values of livestock and poultry categories for indemnity purposes. In developing and updating these annual values, USDA should ensure that they reflect applicable modern production practices and relevant livestock and poultry markets so that payments represent average fair market values for the category of animal that the compensation payment is intended to cover. See more information in APHIS to change indemnities.
- The Committee is concerned about the increase of products, which do not include meat or egg products, that are labeled and marketed using animal food product terminology and related iconography. The Committee directs the FDA to conduct a study to better understand consumers’ attitudes, beliefs, motivations, and perceptions relative to product composition, health attributes and labeling. The FDA shall assess consumer perceptions of different terms used on labels of plant-based alternative products. No later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act, FDA shall submit to the Committee, and make publicly available online, a report on the findings of this study.