Late on Friday, March 8, and hours before the deadline to avoid a partial government shutdown, the Senate passed the bill for a $460 billion spending package that includes funding for six federal agencies by a vote of 75-22. The bill, which was passed by the House with a vote of 339-85 earlier in the week, was then signed by President Joe Biden on Saturday.

Lee karen
Managing Editor / Progressive Dairy

The bill provides fiscal year (FY) 2024 funding through Sept. 30 for several federal agencies including the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, Justice, Transportation and Veterans Affairs.

According to the bill summary from the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and related agencies are provided with approximately $26.2 billion in funding. In particular, it fully funds the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) at $7.03 billion, an increase of $1.03 billion from FY 2023. It also fully funds the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and child nutrition programs – like the school lunch program, school breakfast program and summer EBT program. Each of these programs support dairy by helping more Americans have access to milk, cheese and yogurt.

Agricultural research will see $1.79 billion, a $44 million increase from last year. There are also increases in funding for rental assistance, food safety and the enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act to promote competition and prevent unfair or deceptive practices and monopolies.

Funding will continue for programs related to international food aid, conservation, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).


Lawmakers are still negotiating the second package of six funding bills for the remaining federal agencies, including Defense and Homeland Security. The deadline for those is March 22.