July 18, 2003
On Monday, during consideration of the House Agricultural Appropriations bill, U.S. Reps. Dennis Rehberg (R-MT) and Darlene Hooley (D-OR) offered an amendment to allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to continue the process of implementing country of origin labeling (COOL), which was signed into law last Congress as part of the Farm Bill.
The Rehberg-Hooley Amendment was designed to counteract the language included in the appropriations bill which would eliminate funding to the USDA for COOL implementation on all meat products for a year.
The Rehberg-Hooley Amendment failed by a narrow margin ? 208 against, 193 for.
The Senate Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee marked up and approved the FY 2004 Agricultural Appropriations bill on July 15 without any restrictions on funding for the labeling rules. Full Senate Committee action is also expected this week.
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33