Congress is in the early stages of establishing budget priorities for the 2016 fiscal year, and this week the House and Senate each considered their respective versions of the FY 2016 budget resolution. With both houses completing action on these resolutions this week, a conference committee will be appointed to reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions.
One significant difference between the two versions is that the House requires the Agriculture Committee to identify savings of approximately $1 billion over 10 years from programs under its jurisdiction, while the Senate version contains no such directive. It is too early to know whether (or in what amount) agriculture-related reconciliation savings will be included in the final budget resolution, which is expected to be completed in April.
On a vote of 294 to 132, the House rejected an alternative version of the budget resolution that specifically called for elimination of funding for the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program. These programs are important sources of support for the promotion of U.S. beef, pork and lamb – as well as many other U.S. agricultural products – in international markets.
“While Congressional support for both MAP and FMD funding is very strong, this alternative budget proposal illustrates that we still have much work to do in educating legislators about the importance of these programs to U.S. agriculture,” said USMEF Chair Leann Saunders. “With competition intensifying in many key markets, it is more important than ever that the U.S. remains committed to growing agricultural exports, which are critically important to the U.S. economy and contribute positively to our balance of trade.”
USMEF members are encouraged to express their support for the MAP and FMD programs to members of Congress. Key facts about these programs are posted online. You may also contact Joe Schuele at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-226-7309 for assistance.
This communication was developed using only non-USDA and non-checkoff revenues.