The Senate Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee last week approved a $145.4 billion fiscal year (FY) 2018 Ag Appropriations Bill last week that—much like the House version—rejects most of the president’s budget proposal, including the elimination of the Rural Cooperative Development Grants (RCDG) program.
The House Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee marked up a $144.9 billion fiscal year (FY) 2018 Ag Appropriations Bill last week that rejects the proposed elimination of many programs within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), including most of the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program. The bill, which the Subcommittee advanced to the full Appropriations Committee by unanimous voice vote June 29, would restore funding for RCDG, a positive sign given the current budget climate.
The Trump Administration's $4.1 trillion 2018 detailed budget, released Tuesday by the White House and the Office of Management and Budget, proposes deep cuts to or entirely eliminates programs essential to domestic and international cooperative development. Although it is not expected to survive scrutiny by lawmakers, the proposal puts numbers on the Trump administration’s priorities of defense and homeland security—often at the expense of foreign aid, which the budget slashes by more than a third.
NCBA CLUSA is thrilled to announce that a decades-long absence of federally-reported data on co-ops in the U.S. will end with the 2017 Economic Census. The Office of Management and Budget on Friday approved without change or question the main 2017 Economic Census package, which includes a question identifying cooperative businesses. “This is a breakthrough moment for cooperatives nationwide,” said Judy Ziewacz, president and CEO of NCBA CLUSA. “The data gathered by the 2017 Economic Survey will fill a critical gap within the cooperative sector, allowing us to tell the story of cooperative economic impact in a more compelling way.”
Compromising across the aisle, the Senate passed the Federal Omnibus budget to extend federal funding on Thursday, securing funding for cooperative development programs domestically and internationally. The bill is on its way to be signed by President Trump. The Senate passed the $1 trillion omnibus spending bill that would keep the government running until September by a vote of 79-18. The House passed the bill Wednesday in a 309-118 vote, with four members abstaining.
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