FY17 Agriculture Full Committee Markup Bill Summary
AGRICULTURE, RURAL DEVELOPMENT, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION,
AND RELATED AGENCIES FISCAL YEAR 2017 APPROPRIATIONS BILL
Full Committee Mark: May 19, 2016
Washington, D.C. – The fiscal year 2017 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill provides a total of $21.25 billion in discretionary budget authority.
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ranking Member of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, said:
“This bill funds programs important to every American, whether it’s making sure our food and drug supply is safe, supporting clean water and sustainable housing in rural America, helping our farmers stay the most productive and efficient in the world, or working to provide food aid overseas. I appreciate our bipartisan collaboration to develop a bill that works for all of America, and I am happy to support it today. I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Moran and our colleagues as we move through the appropriations process.”
U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Vice Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement:
“Working together, Chairman Moran and Ranking Member Merkley wrote an Agriculture bill that makes critical investments in America’s crops, nutrition and food safety. The Agriculture bill is not just about farmers, it’s important to every American. Researchers funded by the bill are finding new ways to meet the growing demand for food while conserving natural resources. The bill helps feed the most vulnerable people among us, including low income women, infants, children and senior citizens. The bill also provides resources for housing, water and sewer infrastructure improvements in rural America, creating jobs, while also keeping people in their homes and drinking safe water. Finally, the Agriculture bill funds the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which supports 10,000 Maryland jobs and is the gold standard for drug, device and food safety, implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011, and enabling precision medicine.”
Key Points & Highlights – This bill funds the activities of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The programs funded in this bill positively impact the lives of Americans every day.
Investing in agriculture research is vital to supporting a rapidly growing global population. This bill provides a total of $2.863 billion for agriculture research. Every one dollar invested in agricultural research yields a return of $20 to the economy.
- Agricultural Research Service: For the Agricultural Research Service, the bill includes $1.178 billion, which is $34 million more than fiscal year 2016 and $17 million more than the budget request. Additionally, the bill includes $64.3 million for Agricultural Research Service buildings and facilities.
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture: For the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the bill includes $1.364 billion, which is $38 million more than fiscal year 2016. The bill includes $375 million for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, which is $25 million more than fiscal year 2016 and fully funds the budget request. Additionally, the bill includes increases for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, the Sun Grant program, and includes $2.5 million for the Food and Agriculture Resilience Program for Military Veterans (FARM-VETS).
- Natural Resources Conservation Service, Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations: The bill includes $150 million for Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations. This program provides technical and financial assistance to states, local governments and Tribes to plan and implement authorized plans for watershed protection, flood mitigation, erosion reduction and other purposes. Projects eligible for this funding include dams, reservoirs and other conservation measures that will reduce potential flood damages, improve water quality, conservation measures and wildlife habitat.
- Rental Assistance: Rental Assistance provides rent subsidies for very low and low income rural residents to occupy multi-family housing properties in rural areas. The bill includes $1.405 billion, which is $15 million more than fiscal year 2016 and fully funds the budget request. This level of funding will renew all expiring Rental Assistance agreements and will support affordable rents in over 286,000 rental units, which are typically occupied by the elderly, disabled, and female-headed households.
- Water and Waste Disposal Program: The Water and Waste disposal loan and grant program provides assistance for construction, expansion, and repair of clean water and sanitary waste disposal systems in remote rural communities. Total funding for Water and Waste loans and grants is $546 million, which is $23.7 million more than fiscal year 2016 and $84.5 million more than the budget request. With this funding over 2.3 million rural residents will receive new or improved clean water and sanitary waste disposal services.
International Food Aid
- P.L. 480 Title II: The bill provides $1.6 billion for P.L. 480 Title II. This amount is $250 million more than the budget request. Many areas of the world are suffering from disasters and ongoing crises. This program not only saves lives but boosts resiliency by supporting the transition from relief to recovery.
- McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition: This bill maintains $202 million for the McGovern-Dole Program, which is $20 million more than the budget request. This program will help millions of women and children around the world gain access to improved education and nutrition. Additionally, the bill maintains $10 million for local and regional procurement, so food can be purchased closer to the recipients.
- Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT): The bill maintains $23 million for Summer EBT, which is $3 million less than the budget request. These funds will provide children who receive free or reduced price meals access to food during the summer months when school is not in session.
- School Meals Equipment Grants: The bill maintains $30 million for school meal equipment grants, which is $5 million less than the budget request. These grants are critical to ensuring children eat healthy meals during the school day by replacing outdated equipment. Schools need this money to serve our children better.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
The bill provides $2.772 billion for the Food and Drug Administration, which is $42 million more than fiscal year 2016 and $29 million more than the budget request.
- Increases provided within FDA’s total funding level include $40.2 million for implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, $15 million more than the budget request; $2.9 million for the review of animal drugs and medical devices, equal to the budget request; $2 million for FDA’s Precision Medicine Initiative, equal to the budget request; $1 million to evaluate biomarkers for drug development; $3 million for improved foreign high risk inspections; $2 million for pediatric device review; $1 million for medical device post market safety activities; and $3 million for FDA Buildings and Facilities, equal to the budget request.
Mara Stark-Alcalá w/Appropriations: (202) 224-2667
Merkley Press Office: (202) 224-3753
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