House Passes Budget Deal Before Break

The U.S. House has been preparing to finish business and leave Washington for the year today (Friday). On Thursday - lawmakers began moving toward a vote on the budget deal reached by negotiators this week and actually approved a two-year budget outline by a vote of 332 to 94. The budget deal worked out by House Budget Chair Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray does include some changes in agriculture spending. According to analysis by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition - the bill would extend sequestration cuts to USDA mandatory spending by two years and reduce USDA spending by 28-billion dollars. Some of that decrease would not occur until 2022 and 2023 and would involve farm subsidies that are likely to be changed in the farm bill. The Coalition also noted the bill would cut 600-million dollars in conservation programs through 2023 and allow USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service to establish user fees for those farmers and ranchers requesting conservation technical assistance. The legislation will head to the Senate next week.

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