Summary: FY 2011 Agriculture, FDA, and Rural Development Appropriations
Full Committee Mark
"This year's bill spends less money than last year and is less than the President's budget request for fiscal year 2011. It reflects tough decisions to reduce spending. Our goal in crafting this year's bill was to stretch limited federal resources to expand rural economic development, invest in agricultural research, ensure a safe food supply and improve domestic and international nutrition."
- Senator Herb Kohl, (D-Wisconsin), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies.
FY 2010 Enacted: $23.135 billion
President's Request: $22.866 billion
Subcommittee Mark: $22.839 billion
FY 2010 Enacted: $97.983 billion
President's Request: $109.120 billion
Subcommittee Mark: $109.126 billion
The fiscal year 2011 Agriculture Appropriations bill includes $22.839 billion in discretionary budget authority, a $296 million discretionary decrease over the fiscal year 2010 enacted level, and $27 million below the President's request. The most significant increases in the bill are in the areas of nutrition, farm support reimbursements (mandatory spending), and international food assistance, all of which are reflective of the state of the economy, agricultural market conditions, and the world situation.
The bill makes substantial improvements in the areas of nutrition, international food assistance, food and drug safety, research, and other important mission areas of USDA and FDA.
Nutrition/WIC: The bill provides a total of $94.051 billion, including mandatory funding, for domestic nutrition assistance.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly the Food Stamp Program, is funded at $68.209 billion in mandatory budget authority.
Child Nutrition: School Lunch and Breakfast programs are funded at $18.156 billion in mandatory budget authority.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). WIC is funded at $7.252 billion in discretionary budget authority. There is also $125,000,000 in contingency funds which will be sufficient to meet current estimates of WIC caseload requirements.
FOOD AND DRUG SAFETY
The bill provides full funding, as requested by the President, for the two premier federal agencies responsible for regulating safety and efficacy standards for our food and drug supply, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). FDA is funded at $2.504 billion, equal to the President's request, and $159 million above fiscal year 2010 enacted level. FSIS is funded at $1.047 billion, $10 million above the President?s request, and $27 million above the fiscal year 2010 enacted level.
INTERNATIONAL FOOD AID
International food aid in the bill is comprised of two primary programs, the Food for Peace title II program and the McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program. Together, these programs are funded at $1.89 billion. Food for Peace Title II is funded at $1.69 billion, which is equal to the President?s request. The McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program is funded at $209.5 million, equal to the President?s request and the same as the fiscal year 2010 enacted level.
The bill also provides $10 million for the Foreign Agricultural Service to provide technical assistance in the establishment and growth of sustainable food production and marketing systems in developing countries.
The bill includes $2.818 billion for USDA research agencies. This is a decrease of $20 million below the fiscal year 2010 enacted level, and $24 million above the President's request. The primary agricultural research agencies, the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) receive $1.251 billion and $1.310 billion respectively. Within NIFA, the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative receives an increase of nearly $48 million.
The bill includes an additional $47 million over the 2010 enacted level, and almost $37 million over the President's request to support increased loan funding for agricultural producers. Rural private lenders remain reluctant to meet credit demands, so producers have had to rely more heavily on Farm Service agency loan programs. Credit needs continue to exceed earlier forecasts. Direct farm operating loans are increased by $190 million while unsubsidized guaranteed operating loans are increased by $150 million.
The bill includes $2.768 billion in discretionary budget authority for rural development programs, which is a decrease of $168 million from the fiscal year 2010 enacted level and an increase of $85 million above the President's request. Generally, the bill provides level funding for water and waste water, community facilities, business, renewable energy, and electric and telecommunications loans and grants.
Increases are provided for both direct and guaranteed single family housing loans. In the face of the recession private mortgage lenders have retrenched leaving Rural Development?s loan programs as a principle source of home financing in rural areas. An additional $34 million is provided for direct loans, which will support a total program level of $1.2 billion in new loans. Regarding guaranteed loans, a fee increase is authorized which will allow the Agency to provide $24 billion in new loans at no cost to the government.