Thursday, March 21, 2013

LaMalfa, NCBA back compromise

The north state's Rep. Doug LaMalfa voted in favor of the continuing budget resolution for the remainder of fiscal 2013 this morning and also supported Rep. Paul Ryan's bill to establish spending levels for fiscal 2014 and beyond.

From LaMalfa:
Rep. Doug LaMalfa today voted for the House Republican budget plan (“Ryan Budget”), which balances the federal budget within the next ten years. The Ryan budget, H. Con. Res. 25, saves billions by eliminating spending caused by the Obama health care takeover, reducing bureaucracy and protecting defense funding.

“We took action today to move our country toward responsible, long-term budgeting with a plan that actually balances. The Ryan budget rolls back the President’s health care takeover, putting health decisions back in the hands of individuals and families,” said LaMalfa. “It is simply irresponsible and immoral to continue piling up debt that our children will be forced to pay back, and this budget plan takes the first step to lifting that burden from future generations.”

“Despite raising taxes by $1 trillion, the Senate Democrat budget never balances and the President has dismissed the very thought of balancing spending to revenue as ridiculous,” added LaMalfa. “I didn’t think it was ridiculous when President Clinton worked with a Republican House to balance the budget in the 1990s, and neither do the millions of Americans who’ve seen their share of the national debt grow by half in just four years.”

The House also passed H.R. 933, known as the Continuing Resolution, which funds government operations through the end of the fiscal year while reducing spending by $85 billion dollars and protecting defense funding from automatic cuts.

“The continuing resolution makes smart reductions in spending, prevents new spending for the President’s health care takeover, maintains a strong military and ensures the government continues to provide essential services,” LaMalfa stated.
Among those applauding the fiscal compromise is the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, which notes that the bill includes needed funding for meat inspectors.

From the organization:
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) applauds the action of the House and Senate as this morning the House passed H.R. 933, the continuing resolution which contained a similar amendment to that which passed the Senate yesterday. The amendment, authored by Senators Roy Blunt of Missouri and Mark Pryor of Arkansas would shift $55 million from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) accounts to pay Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) inspectors through Oct. 1, 2013, when the new fiscal year begins. The bill now heads to the President’s desk for his signature.

“This is great news for every segment of American agriculture,” said NCBA President Scott George a cattleman from Cody, Wyo. “With this shift of finances, Congress was able to avoid the crisis created by the administration and keep FSIS inspectors in the plants where they belong. While cattlemen and women were disappointed Secretary Vilsack threw in the towel on his agency’s 107-year-old duty to provide federal food safety inspections, we sincerely thank Senators Blunt and Pryor for ensuring the nation’s food supply will not be limited by politics.”

Under the Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1906 and related legislation, all meat, poultry and egg products produced here in the United States or imported must be inspected by a federal food safety inspector and that service must be paid for by the federal government. Without the inspection, no product can be sold or shipped interstate.

“Had inspection been halted, this would have resulted in a backlog of animals, shortened supply of beef to market, higher prices and harm to the futures markets,” said George. “By the Secretary’s own estimates, this would have equated to $10 billion in production losses and $400 million in lost wages, only compounding the issues faced by ranchers dealing with the worst drought in fifty years.”

Under sequestration the FSIS was expected to take a total cut of $52.8 million, or 5 percent of its budget. In that event, furloughs would have been required of all 9,212 employees of the FSIS, including 8,136 meat inspectors and others on the front line such as lab technicians. The furloughs were expected to be taken one day per week between July and the end of the fiscal year in September.

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