What the Proposed Federal Budget Cuts Mean for Food and Water Protections
Contaminated foods — the list includes cantaloupe, turkey burgers, spinach, peppers, peanut butter and eggs — have killed and sickened too many Americans over the past five years. Act now to tell Congress to adequately fund our federal food safety programs.
The original Republican proposal (House Resolution 1, or H.R. 1) for cutting the current FY 2011 federal budget would cut the budget for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) meat inspections by $88 million, and would return funding for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to less than last year’s levels—putting them even further behind in meeting requirements of the new food safety law passed late last year. President Obama’s proposed 2012 budget would cut the USDA’s meat inspection budget by $9 million and increase the FDA’s budget—but not enough to implement the new Food Safety Modernization Act.
Federal funding for water infrastructure has also been targeted by the House, whose proposal cuts the Environmental Protection Agency’s State Revolving Funds for clean water (sewerage) and drinking water — the mechanisms through which federal funding is distributed to states and municipalities for water infrastructure repairs, maintenance and improvements—by $1.967 billion to finish out the current fiscal year. These funds would also be drastically reduced under Obama’s proposed FY 2012 budget.