The House of Representatives started working on funding FY 2020

Update from Mark Rokala, OFA Policy Director

The House of Representatives started work on funding the federal government for Fiscal Year 2020 last month. The topline budget number is needed to determine how much money each appropriation subcommittee can spend.

So, how does this impact organic farmers?

The $18 million we asked for the NOP stands a good chance of being lowered, along with organic data funding and other programs used by our members. We will work with other organic advocacy groups to educate the Senate on the value of our organic programs. If needed, we will be reaching out to you to lobby your local Congressional staff.

The House had based its 2020 budget work on a $24.31 billion budget, more than $5.1 billion above the budget request.

On the Senate side, we are waiting for the results of the Senate Republicans and the Administration’s decision on FY20 funding before taking the next step for the Ag Appropriations bill.

OFA staff expect the Senate Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Committee to base this year’s bill on last year’s funding level. We should expect to see flatline spending from many programs.

The House bill included language telling USDA to implement the 2015 Origin of Livestock Rule to close loopholes in the organic regulations. We still need your help to request that the Senate Appropriations committee include the same language. Thank you to all who have reached out to your elected officials, and there is still time to do so if you haven’t already!

Spending levels and policy changes for your favorite programs are still a long way from being finalized. Please keep an eye out for any OFA legislative alerts during the summer and early fall.