Budget Deal: Conservation Slashed, Commodities Untouched

Press Release from U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations Summary: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Fiscal 2011 Continuing Resolution Fiscal Year 2010 Discretionary Spending: $23.135 billion H.R. 1 Discretionary Spending: $18.030 billion FY 11 Continuing Resolution: $19.965 billion Overall discretionary spending for the Agriculture Subcommittee in the Continuing Resolution totals $19.965 billion. This represents an increase of $1.935 billion (+10 %) above H.R. 1, but is a decrease of $3.17 billion (-14%) below the FY 10 funding level. This is a very austere bill that reflects reductions below the FY 10 funding level in nearly every program. In making these difficult funding decisions, programs directly related to public health and safety and domestic and international nutrition assistance programs were prioritized. Multiple programs were eliminated, and many others were significantly reduced. Summaries of funding decisions are below.

Food and Drug Administration. The CR provides $2.452 billion for the Food and Drug Administration, as compared to $2.345 billion in FY 10 (+4%) and $2.104 billion in H.R. 1 (+14%). This funding level takes into consideration the federal government’s responsibilities to protect public health and safety, especially in the areas of food, drugs, medical devices and biologics. This funding level will allow the Food and Drug Administration to begin implementation of the recently passed Food Safety Modernization Act. Food Safety and Inspection Service. The CR funds the Food Safety and Inspection Service at $1.009 billion, as compared to $1.019 billion in FY 10 (-1%) and $930 million in H.R. 1 (+8%). This funding level will ensure continued inspection of meat and poultry products and will allow the FSIS to continue modernizing its workforce and improving food safety systems. Domestic Nutrition. The CR provides $6.748 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as compared to $7.252 billion in FY 10 (-7%) and $6.505 billion in H.R. 1 (+4%). This level will fully fund participation in the program. The decrease from FY 10 is due to lower program participation rates than originally estimated. For other domestic nutrition programs, the CR provides $394 million, as compared to $396 million in FY 10 (-1%) and $367 million in H.R. 1 (+7%). This includes funding for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program of $176 million as compared to $171 million in FY10 (+3%) and $151 million in H.R. 1 (+14%). The funding level for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program is adequate to serve all current participants. Foreign Food Assistance. The CR provides $1.5 billion for PL 480 Title II, as compared to $1.69 billion in FY 10 (-11%) and $1.003 billion in H.R. 1 (+33%). The Public Law 480 Title II program provides emergency food assistance to the most vulnerable areas in the world. The McGovern-Dole Program, which provides school meals to the world’s poorest children, is funded at $199.5 million, as compared to $209.5 million in FY 10 (-5%) and $100 million in H.R. 1 (+50%). The decrease from the FY 10 level is due to the elimination of a one-time pilot project. Research. The CR provides $2.353 billion for the National Institute on Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Agricultural Research Service, as compared to $2.523 billion in FY 10 (-7%) and $2.192 billion in H.R. 1 (+7%). This funding level is the result of the elimination of all earmarks, as well as other programmatic changes. Specifically within NIFA, the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative is funded at $265 million, as compared to $262 million in FY 10 (+1%) and $228 million in H.R. 1 (+14%). Funding for the Hatch Act is provided at $237 million, as compared to $215 million in FY10 (+9%) and $222 million in H.R. 1 (+6%). The McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry program is funded at $33 million, as compared to $29 million in FY 10 (+12%) and $35 million in H.R. 1 (-6%). Funding for Smith-Lever Sections 3(b) and 3(c) is provided at $295 million, as compared to $298 million in FY 10 (-1%) and $268 million in H.R. 1 (+9%). The CR rescinds $230 million in unobligated funding in the ARS Buildings and Facilities Account. Rural Development. The CR provides $690 million for Rural Development Salaries and Expenses, as compared to $715 million in FY 10 (-3%) and $680 million in H.R. 1 (+1%). Most programs were reduced from FY 10 levels. For Housing and Community Programs, the CR provides $1.226 billion in budget authority while $1.424 billion was available in FY 10 (-14%) and $1.215 billion under H.R. 1 (+1%). For Business Programs, the CR provides $128 million, as compared to $185 million in FY 10 (-31%) and $152 million in H.R. 1 (-16%). Under Rural Utilities Programs, the CR provides $598 million as compared to $653 million in FY 10 (-8%) and $449 million under H.R. 1 (+25%). Farm Service Agency. The CR provides $461 million for farm loan programs, as compared to $462 million in FY 10 and $463 million in H.R. 1. Program levels for several farm loan programs are lower in FY 11 due to higher subsidy rates. The CR provides $1.211 billion for salaries and expenses, as compared to $1.254 billion in FY 10 (-3%) and $1.064 billion under H.R. 1 (+12%). Conservation. The CR provides $890 million for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, as compared to $1.008 billion in FY10 (-12%) and $856 million in H.R. 1 (+4%). This includes $18 million for the Watershed Rehabilitation program, as compared to $40 million in FY10 (-55%) and $20 million in H.R. 1 (-10%). The CR eliminates the Resource Conservation and Development Program. Farm Bill Savings. Total savings achieved through Farm Bill limitations are $1.502 billion.

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