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AGRIBUSINESS: Senate Amendment Would Prevent Sequester Furloughs

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One ag-related amendment still has time to be added to the Senate’s continuing resolution; if added, the amendment would transfer approximately $55 million in existing USDA funds to the Food Safety Inspection Service to prevent furloughs of meat and poultry inspectors.

The bill’s sponsors say furloughs would lead to the closure of nearly 6300 food inspection facilities, and that 500,000 industry workers would lose nearly $400 million in wages.

During a speech Tuesday, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack endorsed the measure, claiming that the introduction of the amendment was an acknowledgment that he had been correct in saying the Budget Control Act was so tightly written that he has no choice but to furlough the inspectors.