Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) released the following statement today on the Agriculture Appropriations legislation, which was passed out of subcommittee this morning:
"The lower allocation put forth by the majority breaks the budget agreement both sides came to last August, and that has real consequences. It will have a dramatic impact on the priorities embodied in this appropriations bill, especially in the critical areas of nutrition, food and consumer safety and financial protection. Programs such as Women Infants and Children (WIC), Commodity Supplemental Food program (relied upon by low income seniors to put food on the table) and the Food for Peace program, which literally saves lives, all face cuts that will severely impact the people they serve.
"Just look at the dramatic underfunding of the Women with Infant Children program. Nearly half of the babies born in the United States every year participate in this short-term intervention that can help provide a lifetime of good nutrition and health behaviors. And yet, at a time of great need, the majority has proposed we underfund WIC by $119 million.
"We also need to ensure the FDA has the resources necessary to protect the American people. It is the cornerstone of our food and product safety system, and yet the Chairman's bill funds it at $16.2 million below last year. This serious underfunding places the agency's vital mission--protecting the health of Americans--at risk.
"I am very disappointed my amendment to fully fund the CFTC was not included today, but will continue to keep fighting to ensure there is finally accountability for Wall Street and big oil. Americans want more accountability and the current bill simply starves the CFTC of much-needed resources and sets it up for failure.
"I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure the fundamental priorities of the people we represent are upheld by improving this bill."