The House Appropriations Committee has approved two appropriations bills, the Agriculture/Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Appropriations, as well as the Energy & Water Appropriations measure. This moves forward the funding process at five NTEU-represented agencies: FDA, Food & Nutrition Service (FNS), Farm Service Agency, Department of Energy (DOE) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). These two bills should now move to the House floor for consideration.
Under the bill, the FDA would receive a total for salaries and expenses of $2.754 billion in discretionary funding. This is $33 million more than in fiscal year (FY16) and $18 million above the President’s FY17 request. While this is movement in the right direction, it does not come near to the resources needed for the important mission of the FDA.
NTEU National President Tony Reardon is very troubled by the proposed funding for CFTC, a freeze at $250 million. This is simply unacceptable given the duties of this agency and the insufficient appropriation they received last year. NTEU will be working aggressively to win an appropriation of $322 million, which Tony believes is more appropriate for the CFTC.
While there could be challenges with the funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and DOE, NTEU expects the proposed appropriations would not cause involuntary RIFs or furloughs for bargaining unit members. FNS administrative expenses would be increased by $18 million to $168.5 million under the bill. While the Farm Service Agency has a reduction in operational expenses, the committee included language requiring detailed reporting as to how and where reductions are made. DOE will receive an increase of $56 million for its civilian energy program for a proposed appropriation of $11.08 billion.
NTEU will continue to be a voice for our members at these agencies as this process moves forward.