Senate Passes Continuing Appropriations Resolution
Includes Provision to Advert Meat and Poultry Inspector Furlough
The National Turkey Federation today praised the Senate for passing a continuing appropriations bill that includes a critical amendment that hopefully will prevent a furlough of meat and poultry inspectors this year.
By a voice vote, the Senate approved a resolution authored by Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., that provides additional funding to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and that confirms the department has the budgetary flexibility necessary to avoid the furloughs.
“The Senate’s bipartisan action today was an important step in ensuring the nation’s turkey plants continue to operate on a full schedule for the rest of the year,” said NTF President Joel Brandenberger. “The threat of furloughs is not completely gone, but we are hopeful the House will concur in the Senate’s action, and USDA then will take the steps necessary to cancel the planned furloughs.
“Furloughs would have idled plants for one day per week, causing a major disruption in turkey production and economic harm to the family farmers who raise turkeys, the farmers who raise feed for those turkeys, the employees who process and transport the turkeys and, ultimately, to the American consumer who likely would see food prices increase as the food supply tightened.
“We thank Senators Pryor and Blunt for their leadership and the entire Senate for affirming the vital importance of the nation’s meat and poultry inspection system.”