Last week, the House of Representatives began considering the fiscal 2015 funding bill for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies. A final vote was postponed, allowing Republicans time to sort out their leadership issues in the wake of Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s decision to step down from his post after losing his primary election for the Virginia 7th Congressional District seat.

The legislation includes $20.9 billion in discretionary money, which is equal to the fiscal 2014 level, and $121.3 billion for mandatory spending for federal food programs. The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) helped secure language in the House Appropriations Committee-approved bill that prohibits USDA from implementing certain burdensome provisions included in the 2008 Farm Bill. The provisions in question are related to the buying and selling of livestock under the Grain Inspection and Packers and Stockyards Act.

Additionally, Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, requested and was able to include funding for research on porcine endemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) funding to better understand the transmission of the disease. The organization is grateful to Rep. Latham and Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., for the inclusion of these important funds.