Contact: Melisa Augusto, 202-314-3191

WASHINGTON (Jan. 17, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson expressed cautious optimism after the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives’ passage of the $1.1 trillion spending bill that will keep the federal government running through September.

“It isn’t all too often that Congress passes bipartisan legislation. Let’s hope this spirit of cooperation continues through to the farm bill,” said Johnson. “We are pleased by the activity, even though the omnibus bill – and its accompanying report language – is far from perfect. While the bill includes much-needed funding increases for rural development programs, it also makes detrimental cuts to the Women, Infants, and Children Program, and appropriations for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission fall short of the agency’s needs.”

The bill includes nonbinding report language that is critical of Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL).

“It is a sign of desperation when packers, processors, and our foreign competitors go as far as including misleading rhetoric and scare tactics in the omnibus report language, in order to try to deny consumers the right to know the origins of their food,” said Johnson. “We urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture to stand firm in supporting COOL and to dismiss this nonbinding resolution.”

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.