Contact: Jennifer Hing (Appropriations Committee) 202-226-7007
Appropriations Committee Releases the Fiscal Year 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill
Legislation will support American farmers and ranchers, encourage rural community economic development, and sustain food safety efforts
Washington, D.C., Jun 5, 2012 -
The House Appropriations Committee today released the fiscal year 2013 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The proposed legislation funds several important and necessary government programs and services, including food safety, animal and plant health, rural development and farm services, and nutrition programs. In total, the legislation includes $19.4 billion in discretionary funding – a cut of $365 million below last year’s level, and a cut of $1.7 billion below the President’s budget request.
“American farmers and ranchers are the backbone of nearly every rural community in the nation. This bill provides responsible funding for the programs and services they need, and helps promote development and economic growth in rural communities across the country. At the same time, this bill preserves resources for food safety, reduces discretionary spending, and streamlines programs to steer precious tax dollars where they are best used,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said.
Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Jack Kingston has also commented on the bill:
“American agriculture is the envy of the world, feeding not only our country but much of the globe. This legislation builds on the bipartisan work of our subcommittee to support agriculture and nutrition, and increase efficiency and effectiveness at the Agriculture Department and the agencies we oversee. It will help ensure a safe and abundant food supply and spur rural economic growth while checking the growth of government using common-sense reforms.”
The agencies and programs in this bill will receive a total of $140.7 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding, a reduction of more than $3.7 billion from the President’s request.
The production, promotion, research and marketing programs funded in this bill will help support over $134.5 billion in U.S. agricultural exports this year – the second-highest level on record. These exports support more than one million American jobs.
Food and Nutrition Programs – The legislation contains discretionary funding, as well as required mandatory funding, for food and nutrition programs within the Department of Agriculture. This includes funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Child Nutrition programs.
Agriculture Research – The bill provides $2.5 billion for agriculture research programs, including the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture. This is a reduction of $35 million below last year’s level. This funding will support high-priority research on devastating crop diseases, food safety, and water quality. The bill also maintains responsible investments in the nation’s land-grant colleges and universities.
Animal and Plant Health – The legislation includes $787 million – $33 million below last year’s level – for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. This funding will continue support for programs to help control or eradicate plant and animal pests and diseases that can be devastating to U.S. farms and agricultural industries.
Conservation Programs – The bill provides $812 million – a decrease of $16 million below last year’s level – for the Natural Resources Conservation Service to help farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners conserve, enhance, and protect their land. The bill also provides $14.7 million in conservation funding for dam rehabilitation to help small communities ensure their small watershed projects meet current safety standards.
Rural Economic Development – The bill provides a total of $2.1 billion for rural development programs – a decrease of $180 million from last year’s level. These programs support basic rural infrastructure, provide opportunities for rural businesses and industries, and help balance the playing field in local housing markets to create an environment for job and economic growth across rural America.
Food Safety and Inspection Service – The legislation includes $996 million for food safety and inspection programs – which is equal to the President’s budget request and a decrease of $9 million below last year’s level. These mandatory inspection activities play a significant role in maintaining the safety and productivity of the country’s $832 billion meat and poultry industry.
The funding in the bill will maintain critical meat, poultry, and egg product inspection and testing activities, and support the implementation of a poultry inspection program to improve safety and inspection efficiency. This voluntary inspection program is expected to reduce government costs by $85-$95 million over three years, and reduce costs to private businesses by a total of $250 million.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – The FDA receives a total of almost $ 2.5 billion in discretionary funding in the bill, a cut of $16.3 million, or 0.7%, below last year’s level. Total funding for the FDA, including user fees, is $3.8 billion.
Farm Service Agency (FSA) – The legislation provides $1.5 billion for the FSA, which is $23.8 million below last year’s level. This funding will support the delivery of certain farm, conservation, loan, and emergency programs for American farmers and ranchers.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) – Included in the bill is $180 million for the CFTC, a cut of $25 million below last year’s level and $128 million below the President’s budget request.
For the text of the subcommittee draft bill please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/BILLS-112-HR-SC-AP-FY13-Agriculture.pdf