NPC News: Clock Ticking on Gov’t Spending Bill
This year, the end of September brings both the expiration of the current Farm Bill and the end of the fiscal year. As Congress returned to the Capitol this week their attention also turned to completing a bill (or bills) to keep the government running beyond September 30th.
Yesterday, the House agreed to go to conference with the Senate on a package of bills including the FY19 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. This process is unique as the full House never passed its version, though a bipartisan bill was agreed upon at the committee level. The Senate did pass their Ag Appropriations Bill last month and it is assumed that the House will use its committee-approved bill to begin negotiations.
Contained within that House Committee-approved Ag Appropriations Bill is language that prohibits USDA from limiting potatoes’ access to the school breakfast program. This bipartisan legislation was strongly supported during the committee mark-up earlier this year.
Absent passage of the appropriations bills or a “continuing resolution,” non-essential functions of the federal government would begin shutting down on October 1st. These would include most operations of the Department of Agriculture.