Fiscal Year 2024 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Bill
May 18, 2023
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies marked up the fiscal year (FY) 2024 appropriations bill on May 18, 2023. The committee approved a party line amount of $25.3 billion for programs under its jurisdiction, with $17.8 billion in direct funding and $8.2 billion from leftover pandemic era funding. These markups have been made to a budget that is 2.1% less than the FY 2023 budget amount and 12.5% below the budget request from President Biden.
Both majority and minority chairs spoke on the markup, highlighting the points of their parties. And for both parties, the food safety programs of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) received budget increases.
Republican chair Andy Harris (MD) advanced his party’s view to cut the overall appropriations bill by almost 30% if pandemic funds are not included. This move is in line with the belief of the Republican party to cut the overall federal budget.
Democrat chair Sanford Bishop (GA) sharply criticized the majority’s approach, claiming that the $17.8 billion figure brings the budget to levels last seen in 2006. The cuts would severely impact rural communities and those individuals and households in need of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
One area that both parties agreed to, however, was the need to increase funding for food safety. The current markup provides a $39 million increase for the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) program (up to $1.2 billion) to ensure meat and poultry inspections continue. The FDA appropriation was $6.6 billion including user fees, with $3.5 billion in direct appropriations for a $16 million increase over FY 2023.
The committee agreed to $1.2 billion for the FDA Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) and Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), specifying a budgeted amount for many of the programs that ORA and CFSAN oversees.
This markup is the first step in the long appropriations process. The House Appropriations Committee must agree to these amounts—as must the full House of Representatives—before sending the bill to Senate appropriators for consideration. These figures might become victim to the overall FY 2024 agreed-to appropriation, which could force cuts to certain programs.
But as for the first step of the process, this news is positive for the support of federal food safety programs.
For more information, contact Government Affairs Director Doug Farquhar.