U.S. House Committee Approves Appropriations
May 27, 2005
May 27, 2005 -- The fiscal 2006 appropriations for agriculture has been approved by the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations. This legislation funds key programs in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that assist the U.S. sheep industry.
Successfully funded projects that directly impact the sheep industry include: national scrapie eradication, wool research, Wildlife Services (WS) operations, WS research, National Sheep Industry Improvement Center (NSIIC), and Foreign Agricultural Services programs.
Representative Henry Bonilla (R-Texas), as subcommittee chairman, shepherded the bill through full committee this week with the scrapie eradication program to receive $19.3 million, an increase of nearly $2 million over the current year. Funding for university wool research programs has been retained at $300,000.
WS operations will receive an increase to nearly $79 million while WS methods development will be budgeted at $14.4 million.
Additionally, Chairman Bonilla restored funds that would have been cut from livestock protection under the President?s budget. Wolf management funds of $1.2 million for Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Mexico and Arizona plus $1.3 million for Idaho, Montana and Wyoming have been allocated.
Other highlights include $1 million for the aviation safety program with $200,000 for a Virginia predator program.
Nearly $500,000 is allocated to NSIIC to continue funding loans and grants for the advancement of the U.S. sheep industry.
The bill also fully funded both the Marketing Assistance Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) at $200 million and $34.5 million, respectively. The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) utilizes these matching-funds programs as a means of cost-sharing promotional and developmental functions for wool and pelts, as well as overseas marketing activities.
"The sheep industry compliments Chairman Bonilla for his support and leadership in the additional funding of key sheep programs at USDA," commented Peter Orwick, executive director for ASI. "The full House of Representatives will act on the legislation in June and the U.S. Senate will likely take up their version of the agriculture spending bill in subcommittee next month as well."
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33