Today at the House Appropriations Committee markup of the Fiscal Year 2014 bill funding the US Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) continued to push for more funding and better policies on the issues important to millions of Americans. Unfortunately, the House Majority continued to block her efforts at every turn.
DeLauro's first proposal was an amendment that would eliminate a provision in the bill preventing American consumers from knowing the origin of the meat and poultry they buy in the grocery store by delaying the implementation of country of origin labeling rules.
"At a time when foreign companies are looking to purchase major US producers, our constituents should at least know where their food is coming from. Look no further than the recent announcement Shauanghui is trying to purchase Smithfield Foods. American food imports from China--and other countries--are growing, even as we struggle to ensure an adequate number of food inspections. American consumers need to be able to make informed choices in the marketplace."
DeLauro later offered an amendment to restore $60 million in funding to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The money would support the critical work of breastfeeding peer counselors.
"WIC is a short-term intervention that can help provide a lifetime of good nutrition and health behaviors. Particularly in this environment, cutting funding for breastfeeding peer counseling is short-sighted, and will only result in higher health care costs. For a small cost, WIC pays enormous dividends in the health and well-being of our mothers and children."
Lastly, DeLauro proposed an amendment to restore funding for the CFTC to the President's request of $315 million.
"Americans want to see more accountability from Wall Street, not less. To make that happen we need enough cops on the beat at the CFTC, but right now the Commission is dangerously underfunded. Congress is effectively licensing more excessive risk-taking and bad behavior by banks and speculators. By not accepting my amendment, we have put in place a recipe for more reckless banking, more market failures, more bailouts and higher gas prices."