Organic Consumers Association

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Sustainable and Organic Ag Programs Retained in Congress 2014 Funding Package

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Politics and Democracy page and our All About Organics page.

On Monday, January 13, House and Senate appropriators released the text of the fiscal year (FY) 2014 omnibus appropriations bill and report, which will fund the government through the remainder of FY 2014.

The current continuing funding resolution expires tomorrow (Wednesday) at midnight.  However, Congress is expected to finalize a three-day extension before that time in order to give itself a few extra days to pass the omnibus legislation.  The House is expected to begin to take up the omnibus tomorrow, while the Senate consideration could be as late as Saturday.  Ultimately, the appropriations legislation is expected to pass be sent to the President for his signature before next week.

The completion of the omnibus is a major accomplishment for appropriators, given how many controversial riders were proposed and how far apart the House and Senate were on some Subcommittee funding levels.  It is also a very significant step toward shifting from repeated continuing resolutions to regular order.

Research, Education, and Extension

The agriculture portion of the omnibus builds upon successful investments in sustainable agriculture research, rural development, conservation, and credit programs.  We are particularly thrilled that the bill provides $22.7 million for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, the highest funding level since NSAC helped create the program in the late 1980s.  That funding level is 18 percent greater than the previous highest level for the program.  SARE is the only USDA competitive grant research program with a clear and consistent focus on sustainability and farmer-driven research.  

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