"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," Sen. Blunt said in a press statement.
Pryor added, "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 [Arkansas] alone."
Broader ag provisions also part of bill
The Agriculture Appropriations bill, also included as part of the CR, will maintain funding for research at land grant universities and rural infrastructure while providing for implementation of the Food Safety and Modernization Act.
A more controversial aspect of the ag appropriations bill was the so-called Sec. 735 "biotech rider," which provides farmers who plant USDA-approved GM crops with certainty that their product may enter the market, even if the product or seed is deregulated during a growing season.
Activist group Center for Food Safety says the rider is part of a "hidden backroom deal" to protect biotech companies. Previous efforts by Sens. Tester, Boxer, Gillibrand, Leahy, Begich and Blumenthal to remove the Sec. 735 language have failed.
Despite appropriations, sequester effects still exist within USDA
The bill, and provisions for FSIS serve as a sort of coping mechanism, shifting funds to essential services while keeping many of the automatic spending cuts introduced by sequestration earlier this month.
USDA said Wednesday about $152 million in total will be cut from Farm Service Agency programs, affecting about 350,000 farmers. The Milk Income Loss Program, the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program and the Noninsured Assistance Program will be affected.