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Senate Committee Advances Agriculture, FDA Spending Bill

On July 16, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved, 28-2, the FY2016 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Related Agencies spending bill (S. 1800). The subcommittee approved the legislation on July 14, and the House Appropriations Committee passed its bill on July 8 (see The Source, 7/10/15).

The measure would provide $144.111 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding for FY2016, which is $3.734 billion below FY2015 and $23.856 billion below President Obama’s request.

As noted in the report, the committee continues to support “an organizational effort to eliminate hunger and malnutrition in this country,” funding “[n]utrition assistance programs [to] provide access to a nutritionally adequate diet for families and persons with low incomes and encourage better eating patterns among the nation’s children” (p. 69).

The committee also provides “full funding, as requested, for implementation of the Mammography Quality Standards Act,” which “sets national quality standards for mammography facilities, equipment, personnel and operating procedures, and has improved the quality of mammography and made mammograms a more reliable tool to detect breast cancers” (p. 86-7).

In addition, “[t]he committee urges FDA to promote the development and widespread usage of naloxone products,” a life-saving drug that “reverses the effects of an opioid overdose” (p. 88).

The measure would direct FDA to publish final advice for pregnant women on seafood consumption (p. 89). A draft of such advice was released in June 2014.

The committee summary notes that the reduction in funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is due to declining enrollments.

The following chart details funding for programs important to women and their families.

Program/Agency FY2015 President’s FY2016 Request House FY2016 Senate FY2016
Department of Agriculture – Domestic Food Programs
Food and Nutrition Service $110.19 billion $112.347 billion $110.074 billion $110.14 billion
Child Nutrition Programs $21.3 billion $21.587 billion $21.507 billion $21.524 billion
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) $6.623 billion $6.623 billion $6.484 billion $6.513 billion
Special Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) $81.838 billion $83.693 billion $81.653 billion $81.662 billion
Commodity Assistance Program $278.501 million $288.317 million $288.317 million $288.317 million
Department of Agriculture – Foreign Assistance
P.L. 480 Title II Food for Peace $1.466 billion $1.4 billion $1.417 billion $1.466 billion
McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition $191.626 million $191.626 million $191.626 million $201.626 million
Food and Drug Administration
FDA $2.589 billion $2.735 billion $2.619 billion $2.629 billion
User Fees $1.855 billion $1.931 billion $1.931 billion $1.931 billion
Mammography User Fees $19.705 million $20.109 million $20.109 million $20.109 million
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