Recently, the President signed a final year-end spending bill that removes fears over another government shutdown. Contained within the bill are key potato provisions that have been in play throughout 2018 and into the new year as the shutdown drama played out.
“We are very pleased that both the school breakfast amendment and the potato breeding research funding were approved in this bill. Coming on the heels of a very strong Farm Bill, today’s action caps off an excellent twelve months for our legislative priorities,” said John Keeling, NPC CEO.
The school breakfast amendment prohibits the Department of Agriculture from limiting potato access to the school breakfast program. It was sponsored in the House by Congressman Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine). In the final bill, the Senate agreed to include that House provision.
Additionally, the year-end spending bill includes the highest level of funding ever for the National Institute of Food & Agriculture’s Potato Breeding Research Special Grants. This program is now funded at $2.75 million for FY19.
The conference report also included a reauthorization of the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) through the end of 2019.