Washington, DC - The Senate Committee on Appropriations today approved the FY 2013 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; and Energy and Water Development Appropriations bills by a vote of 28-1. Both measures will now be reported to the full Senate for its consideration.
Chairman Inouye's opening statement is below:
"Good morning. The Committee is meeting today to consider the recommendations of the Subcommittees on Agriculture and Rural Development, and Energy and Water Development. On Tuesday, the Subcommittees' members approved the Chairmen's recommendations with strong bipartisan support. I want to thank Senators Kohl, Blunt, Feinstein, and Alexander for drafting these two bipartisan measures.
"In many respects the success of our nation's economic recovery is linked to the work of these two subcommittees. We are a nation whose economy both thrives and depends upon our robust food production and the capacity to get our products to market both at home and abroad on our waterways and through our ports. In addition, programs enhancing domestic production of energy and reducing our dependence on foreign sources through innovative research are critical to our economic rebound.
"Like so much of the work of this Committee which goes unnoticed while pundits focus on total spending levels or earmarks, today we will assist our nation's return to economic health by approving these measures. These draft bills have been forwarded to the Committee for its review at funding levels that comply with their respective 302(b) allocations. In addition, I would note that the agriculture bill is $50 million below the amount requested by the Administration.
"While the energy and water bill is above the President's request it is still below amounts approved by the Congress last year for these purposes. I thank both Subcommittees for their hard work in preparing these bills. I now call upon our Vice Chairman, Senator Cochran, for his remarks and to make the requisite motion to report the two bills subject to amendment."
Summaries of the bills approved by the full committee today are below: