The Subcommittee will come to order.
USDA's Food Safety Mission Area, including the Food Safety and Inspection Service, is a critical component in ensuring that our Nation's supply of meat, poultry and processed eggs are safe, wholesome and correctly labeled. I want to welcome back to the Subcommittee Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, USDA's Under Secretary for Food Safety, Al Almanza, the Administrator for the Food Safety and Inspection Service, and Mike Young, USDA's Budget Director as we take a deeper look into the fiscal year 2013 budget request for these activities.
The President's fiscal year 2013 budget request seeks a funding level of $995.5 million, or a decrease of $8.9 million below the fiscal year 2012 enacted level of $1.004 billion. It is a tight budget, but it is a necessary budget. The budget includes an increase of $4 million for time clocks that will allow FSIS to improve operational efficiency at some of the largest Federally-inspected facilities, and it includes a decrease of $12.9 million, and 500 FTEs due to the new poultry slaughter inspection regime that was announced in January. Most importantly, the programs and activities that this budget supports will continue to reduce the number of foodborne illnesses in this country while operating in a more efficient manner.
Dr. Hagen and Mr. Almanza, I just want to make sure that you know that we on this panel, as I am sure all Americans, appreciate the work that you and your colleagues carry out on a daily basis to keep our food supply safe and wholesome.