Senate Passes Amendment to Prevent Furloughs of Food Inspectors
WASHINGTON, DC (AP)– The Senate agrees to amend a bill that would fund the federal government through September and would protect private sector jobs and prevent a potential crisis in America's food supply, by solving a funding gap for the Food Safety and Inspection Service.
The amendment was introduced by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).
The amendment would transfer $55 million in existing agriculture funds to FSIS in order to ensure food inspectors are not furloughed. These facilities are required by law to have federal inspectors on the production line in order to operate.
In proposing this amendment, the Senators aim is to protect Americans' jobs at meat, poultry, and egg production facilities nationwide. It's estimated that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's projected food inspector furloughs would lead to the closure of nearly 6,300 food inspection facilities across America. As a result, over 500,000 industry workers would lose nearly $400 million in wages.
The Pryor/Blunt/Coons amendment adds no additional cost to the bill. Instead, it moves one-time funding for school equipment grants and deferred maintenance on buildings and facilities at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"The federal workers who inspect meat and poultry are critical not only to our nation's food security, but to the economic stability of many of our rural communities. While we continue working to replace the reckless sequester with responsible deficit-reduction measures, it was important that Congress act to prevent a potential crisis from developing in our nation's food supply. Backlogs in food inspections could result in the shutdown of processing facilities and send devastating ripple effects through rural communities and straight to the shelves of every market and grocery in the country," said Coons.
Delaware's poultry industry supports more than 13,000 jobs and contributes more than $3.2 billion to the state's economy.
"After much hard work, I'm pleased to see that the Senate has unanimously approved our amendment. By solving this funding gap, we've been able to protect private sector jobs, keep food prices affordable, and help nearly 40,000 employees in my state alone," said Pryor.
"I'm very pleased the Senate unanimously passed this important amendment, which will help protect every family from paying higher food costs, and ensure hardworking Americans who make a living at these food inspection facilities don't see their wages cut," said Blunt.
U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) were cosponsors of the amendment.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:37 PM EDT2013-06-19 01:37:33 GMT
SALISBURY, Md.- A plan has been set in motion to bring some new low-income to moderate-income housing to one Salisbury neighborhood.There is not much left of the old laundry business on Anne Street inMore
A plan has been set in motion to bring some new low-income to moderate-income housing to one Salisbury neighborhood.More
Tuesday, June 18 2013 3:58 PM EDT2013-06-18 19:58:27 GMT
REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.- Delaware State Police are asking public's assistance in attempting to identify two suspects involved in the unlawful use of a credit card at various stores in the Rehoboth Beach area.More
Delaware State Police are asking the public's assistance in identifying two suspects alleged to have been involved in the unlawful use of a credit card at various stores in the Rehoboth Beach area.More
Tuesday, June 18 2013 12:38 PM EDT2013-06-18 16:38:16 GMT
CAMDEN, Del.- Delaware State Police detectives have arrested a Camden-Wyoming man accused of raping a 15-year-old girl. Jason S. Anker, 32, was taken into custody Monday and charged with first-degreeMore
Delaware State Police detectives have arrested a Camden-Wyoming man accused of raping a 15-year-old girl.More
Fourteen-year-old Christina Atkins died two years ago. Her family said she was in a locked bathroom at Beebe Medical Center in Lewes giving a urine sample, when she had some sort of a medical emergency. What exactly that emergency was remains a mystery. Regardless, she was behind a locked door. WBOC's Mike Chesney reports.More