House Republicans’ Draft Agricultural Spending Bill Includes No Changes To Food Aid Reform

“House Republicans rolled out a $19.5 billion [draft] agriculture spending bill Tuesday that deals back-to-back blows to President Barack Obama’s reform agenda for food aid overseas and the financial markets at home,” Politico reports. “An estimated $1.15 billion is provided for the Food for Peace program, $284 million less than was enacted this spring and with none of the changes that Obama wanted to allow the purchase of more food overseas,” the news service writes, adding, “At the same time, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is effectively frozen at its current operating budget of $195 million reflecting the March sequester.” The news service notes, “The House Appropriations Committee is expected to begin consideration of the 76-page measure this week, but no floor action is expected before the larger five-year farm bill later this month.”

According to Politico, “Obama’s goal has been to shift funding into the foreign aid budget with USAID assuming greater control and given authority to purchase more food overseas, rather than relying so much on American crops and U.S. flag vessels.” However, “[o]ne risk for the administration is that the fight will only invite more cuts by conservatives from the underlying program,” the news service writes, noting, “Almost half the House Republicans in the last Congress voted to kill funding entirely for Food for Peace” (Rogers, 6/4).