Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2019 Appropriations

Updated January 8, 2019 (R45230)
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Contents

Figures

Tables

Appendixes

Summary

The Agriculture appropriations bill funds the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) except for the Forest Service. It also funds the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and—in even-numbered fiscal years—the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Agriculture appropriations include both mandatory and discretionary spending. Discretionary amounts, though, are the primary focus during the bill's development. The largest discretionary spending items are the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); agricultural research; FDA; rural development; foreign food aid and trade; farm assistance programs; food safety inspection; conservation; and animal and plant health programs. The main mandatory spending items are the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), child nutrition, crop insurance, and the farm commodity and conservation programs.

For FY2019, both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees reported agriculture bills (H.R. 5961, S. 2976) in May 2018. The Senate amended and passed its version as Division C of a four-bill minibus on August 1, 2018 (H.R. 6147). In the absence of a final appropriation, Congress enacted two continuing resolutions, but these expired on December 21, 2018 (P.L. 115-245, Division C; and P.L. 115-298). Beginning December 22, 2018, a partial government shutdown (funding lapse) began limiting operations. Some "excepted" functions such as food safety and commodity grading can continue during the funding lapse. In the 116th Congress, the House passed H.R. 21, a six-bill omnibus with Agriculture as Division C.

The Trump Administration requested $17 billion for discretionary-funded accounts within the jurisdiction of Agriculture appropriations, a reduction of $6.2 billion from FY2018 (-27%). Both the House-reported and Senate-passed bills generally reject most of the proposed reductions.

The discretionary total of the House-reported bill is $23.23 billion, which would be $14 million less than enacted in FY2018 (-0.1%). The discretionary total of the Senate-passed bill is also $23.23 billion. However, the Senate bill's total would be $229 million more than enacted in FY2018 (+1%) on a comparable basis that excludes the CFTC. The Senate-passed bill would provide about $250 million more than the House-passed bill on a comparable basis.

Among the primary differences between the bills and from FY2018: Both the House and Senate bills would increase FDA appropriations (+$308 million in the House bill; +$159 million in the Senate bill). Both bills increase appropriations for animal and plant health programs (+$16 million to +$19 million). The House bill would provide more base funding for rural water and waste disposal (+$81 million), but none of the extra that was provided separately in FY2018. The Senate bill would not change the base funding for rural water but continues $400 million of the extra funding. For rural broadband, both the House and Senate bills would continue a FY2018 pilot ($550 million in the House bill; $425 million in the Senate bill). The House bill would increase agricultural research (+$79 million), and the Senate bill would increase Agricultural Research Service programming (+98 million) but not fund any construction (-$141 million). Both bills provide less for WIC (-$175 million in the House bill, and -$25 million in the Senate bill), though the Senate bill has a larger rescission from prior-year WIC funds than does the House bill. The House bill would reduce base funding for the international Food for Peace program (-$100 million) and does not renew extra funding (-$116 million), while the Senate bill keeps it constant.

The appropriations also carry mandatory spending—largely determined in separate authorizing laws—that would total $122 billion. Thus, the overall total of both bills is about $145 billion.

Both bills contain policy provisions affecting disaster programs, rural definitions, industrial hemp, animal products, nutrition programs, dietary guidelines, CFTC, and tobacco products.


Status of FY2019 Agriculture Appropriations

In the absence of a final appropriation, FY2019 began under two continuing resolutions that lasted until December 21, 2018 (Table 1). Beginning December 22, a partial government shutdown began limiting operations. Some "excepted" functions can continue during the funding lapse. On January 3, 2019, the House passed an omnibus bill (H.R. 21) to reopen the government, using the text of a Senate-passed bill from the 115th Congress.

In 2018, both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees reported Agriculture appropriations bills for FY2019 (H.R. 5961 on May 16, 2018, and S. 2976 on May 24, 2018). The Senate amended and passed its version as Division C of a four-bill minibus (H.R. 6147 on August 1, 2018). See Figure 1 and Appendix B for a more complete picture of the timeline.

Higher discretionary budget caps in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-123) have facilitated development of the appropriation. The discretionary total of the House-reported bill was $23.23 billion, $14 million less than enacted in FY2018 (-0.1%; Table 2). The discretionary total of the Senate-passed bill was also $23.23 billion, $229 million more than enacted in FY2018 (+1%) on a comparable basis that excludes the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).1 The Senate-passed bill would have provided about $250 million more than the House-reported bill on a comparable basis.

The appropriations also carry mandatory spending—though that is largely determined in separate authorizing laws—that would total nearly $122 billion. Thus, the overall total of each of the bills is about $145 billion.

Table 1. Status of FY2019 Agriculture Appropriations

House Action

Senate Action

Continuing Resolutions

Final Appropriation

Subcmte.

Cmte.

Floor

Subcmte.

Cmte.

Floor

 

 

115th Congress

5/9/2018

Drafta

Voice vote

5/16/2018

H.R. 5961

H.Rept. 115-706

Vote 31-20

5/22/2018

Draft

Voice vote

5/24/2018

S. 2976

S.Rept. 115-259

Vote 31-0

8/1/2018

H.R. 6147 Division C

Vote 92-6

P.L. 115-245, Division C, until 12/7/2018

P.L. 115-298 until 12/21/18

116th Congress

1/3/2019

H.R. 21

Vote of 241-190

Source: CRS, compiled from the Legislative Information System.

a. The House subcommittee draft is at https://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP01/20180509/108287/BILLS-115HR-SC-AP-FY2019-Agriculture-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf, and the committee report draft is at https://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP00/20180516/108312/HRPT-115-HR-FY2019-Agriculture.pdf.

Table 2. Agriculture and Related Agencies Appropriations, by Title, FY2018-FY2019

(budget authority in millions of dollars)

 

FY2018

FY2019

Change FY2018 to FY2019...

Title of Agriculture Appropriations Act

P.L. 115-141

Admin. Request

House H.R. 5961

Senate
H.R. 6147

Enacted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

House

Senate

I. Agricultural Programs: Discretionary

5,622.8

4,752.9

5,704.5

5,587.8

+81.7

-35.1

Mandatory

1,344.0

1,374.0

1,374.0

1,374.0

+30.0

+30.0

Subtotal

6,966.8

6,126.9

7,078.5

6,961.8

+111.7

-5.1

II. Farm Production and Conservation Programs

2,735.6

2,197.9

2,760.3

2,728.0

+24.7

-7.6

Mandatory

23,198.3

24,097.5

24,097.5

24,097.5

+899.2

+899.2

Subtotal

25,933.9

26,295.4

26,857.8

26,825.5

+923.9

+891.6

III. Rural Development

3,000.9a

2,022.5

3,078.5a

3,000.9a

+77.6

+0.0

IV. Domestic Food Programs: Discretionary

6,709.8

5,990.1

6,528.5

6,696.1

-181.2

-13.7

Mandatory

98,209.6

96,342.3

96,344.8

96,344.8

-1,864.9

-1,864.9

Subtotal

104,919.4

102,332.3

102,873.3

103,040.9

-2,046.1

-1,878.5

V. Foreign Assistance

2,021.0a

205.0

1,925.8

2,152.3

-95.2

+131.4

VI. Related Agencies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food and Drug Administration

2,811.9a

3,183.7

3,119.6

2,970.9

+307.7

+159.0

Commodity Futures Trading Commission

249.0

281.5

255.0

[281.5]b

+6.0

[+32.5]b

VII. General Provisions:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHIMPS and rescissionsc

-801.0

-1,197.8

-315.0

-395.0

+486.0

+406.0

Other appropriations

1,378.1

0.0

579.5

889.5

-798.6

-488.6

Scorekeeping adjustmentsd

-481.0

-409.0

-404.0

-404.0

+77.0

+77.0

Discretionary: Senate basis w/o CFTC

[22,998.0]

16,745.2

[22,977.8]

23,226.5

-20.2

+228.5

Discretionary: House basis w/ CFTC

23,247.0

17,026.7

23,232.8

[23,508.0]b

-14.2

+261.0b

Mandatory

122,752.0

121,813.8

121,816.3

121,816.3

-935.7

-935.7

Total: Senate basis w/o CFTC

[145,750.0]

138,559.0

[144,794.0]

145,042.8

-955.9

-707.2

Total: House basis w/ CFTC

145,999.0

138,840.5

145,049.0

[145,324.3]b

-949.9

-674.7b

Source: CRS, using appropriations text and reports and unpublished CBO tables.

Notes: Amounts are nominal discretionary budget authority in millions of dollars unless labeled otherwise. Excludes amounts in supplemental appropriations acts. Bracketed amounts are not in the official totals due to differing House-Senate jurisdiction for CFTC.

a. Excludes a portion of the other appropriations that are provided separately in General Provisions.

b. See Division B of H.R. 6147.

c. Changes in Mandatory Program Spending (CHIMPS) are reductions made to mandatory programs via appropriations. Rescissions are permanent cancellations of previously provided budget authority.

d. "Scorekeeping adjustments" are not necessarily appropriated but are part of the official CBO accounting.

Figure 1. Timeline of Action on Agriculture Appropriations, FY1999-FY2019

Source: CRS.

Scope of Agriculture Appropriations

The Agriculture appropriations bill—formally known as the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act—funds all of USDA, excluding the U.S. Forest Service. It also funds the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In even-numbered fiscal years, the act carries CFTC funding under a practice for handling House-Senate jurisdictional differences.

Jurisdiction is with the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations and their respective Subcommittees on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies. The bill includes mandatory and discretionary spending, but the discretionary amounts are the primary focus during the bill's development. The scope of the bill is shown in Figure 2.

The federal budget process treats discretionary and mandatory spending differently:2

In the FY2018 Agriculture appropriations, discretionary appropriations were 16% ($23.3 billion) of the $146 billion total. Mandatory spending carried in the act comprised $123 billion, about 84% of the total. About $99 billion of the $123 billion mandatory amount could be attributed to programs in the 2014 farm bill (Figure 2). Some programs are not in the authorizing jurisdiction of the House or Senate Agriculture Committees.

Figure 2. Scope of Agriculture and Related Agencies Appropriations

(FY2018 budget authority in billions of dollars)

Source: CRS. Does not show some agencies under $0.5 billion. Includes General Provisions with agencies.

Notes: SNAP = Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; CCC = Commodity Credit Corporation; FCIC = Federal Crop Insurance Corporation; Section 32 = Funds for Strengthening Markets, Income and Supply; WIC = Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; CSFP = Commodity Supplemental Food Program; FDA = Food and Drug Administration; FSA = Farm Service Agency; RMA = Risk Management Agency; FSIS = Food Safety and Inspection Service; APHIS = Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Within the discretionary total, the largest discretionary spending items are the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); rural development; agricultural research; FDA; foreign food aid and trade; farm assistance program salaries and loans; food safety inspection; conservation; and animal and plant health programs (Figure 2).

The main mandatory spending items are the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, and other food and nutrition act programs), child nutrition (school lunch and related programs), crop insurance, and farm commodity and conservation programs that are paid through USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). SNAP is referred to as an "appropriated entitlement" and requires an annual appropriation.8 Amounts for the nutrition program are based on projected spending needs. In contrast, the CCC operates on a line of credit. The annual appropriation provides funding to reimburse the Treasury for the use of this line of credit.

Key Budget Terms

Budget authority is the main purpose of an appropriations act or a law authorizing mandatory spending. It provides the legal basis from which to obligate funds. It expires at the end of a period and is usually available for one year unless specified otherwise (e.g., two years or indefinite). Most amounts in this report are budget authority.

Obligations are contractual agreements between an agency and its clients or employees. They occur when an agency proceeds to spend money from its budget authority. The Antideficiency Act prohibits agencies from obligating more budget authority than is provided in law, such as during a government shutdown.

Outlays are the payments (cash disbursements) that satisfy a valid obligation. Outlays may differ from budget authority or obligations because payments from an agency may not occur until services are fulfilled, goods are delivered, or construction is completed, even though an obligation occurred.

Program level represents the sum of the activities supported or undertaken by an agency. A program level may be higher than a budget authority if the program (1) receives user fees that can be used to pay for activities, (2) makes or guarantees loans that are leveraged on the expectation of repayment (more than $1 of loan authority for $1 of budget authority), or (3) receives transfers from other agencies.

Rescissions are adjustments that cancel or reduce budget authority after enactment. They score budgetary savings.

CHIMPS (Changes in Mandatory Program Spending) are adjustments in an appropriations act to mandatory budget authority. CHIMPS in appropriations usually reduce or limit spending by mandatory programs for one year and score budgetary savings. They do not change the underlying authority of the program in statute.

For more background, see CRS Report 98-721, Introduction to the Federal Budget Process.

Recent Trends in Agriculture Appropriations

Over time, changes by title of the Agriculture appropriations bill have generally been proportionate to changes in the bill's total discretionary limit, though some activities have sustained relative increases and decreases. Agriculture appropriations peaked in FY2010, declined through FY2013, and since then have increased (Figure 3). Comparisons to historical benchmarks, though, may be affected by adjustments for inflation (Figure 4). In FY2018, USDA reorganization affected the placement of some programs between Titles I and II of the bill.

The stacked bars in Figure 3 represent the discretionary authorization for each appropriations title. The total of the positive stacked bars is the budget authority in Titles I-VI. Prior to FY2018, it was higher than the official discretionary spending allocation (the line) because of the budgetary offset from negative amounts in Title VII (general provisions) and other scorekeeping adjustments that were negative mostly due to limits on mandatory programs and rescissions.

Figure 3. Discretionary Agriculture Appropriations, by Title, FY2009-FY2019

Source: CRS.

Note: For FY2019, Adm. is the Administration's request, H.R. is committee-reported H.R. 5961 and Sen. is Senate-passed H.R. 6147. Includes CFTC in Related Agencies in all years.

Figure 4. Inflation-Adjusted Agriculture Appropriations, FY2009-FY2019

Source: CRS.

Note: For FY2019, Adm. is the Administration's request, H.R. is committee-reported H.R. 5961 and Sen. is Senate-passed H.R. 6147. Includes CFTC in Related Agencies in all years. Budget authority is millions of dollars adjusted to FY2019 using the gross domestic product price deflator.

Action on FY2019 Appropriations

Administration's Budget Request

The Trump Administration released its FY2019 budget request on February 12, 2018,9 one week later than the usual first Monday in February. USDA concurrently released its more detailed budget summary and justification,10 as did the FDA,11 and the independent agencies of the CFTC12 and the Farm Credit Administration (FCA).13 The Administration also highlighted some of the proposed reductions and eliminations separately.14

From these documents, the congressional appropriations committees evaluated the request and began to consider their own bills in the spring of 2018. For accounts in the jurisdiction of the Agriculture appropriations bill, the Administration's budget proposed $17.4 billion, a 25% reduction from FY2018 (Table 2, Figure 3).

The timing of the Administration's budget request for FY2019 preceded Congress enacting the final, omnibus FY2018 appropriation in March 2018. Therefore, amounts in the FY2018 column of the Administration's budget documents are based on FY2017 and the continuing resolution and are not reliable indicators of the enacted FY2018 levels that came later.

Discretionary Budget Caps and Subcommittee Allocations

Budget enforcement for appropriations has both procedural and statutory elements.

The procedural elements are associated with the budget resolution and are enforced through points of order. Typically, each chamber's full Appropriations Committee receives a top-line procedural limit on discretionary budget authority, referred to as a "302(a)" allocation, from the Budget Committee via an annual budget resolution passed by each chamber. The Appropriations Committees then each in turn subdivide their allocation among their subcommittees, referred to as the "302(b)" allocations.15

The statutory elements impose limits on discretionary spending in FY2012-FY2021 and are enforced through discretionary budget caps and sequestration (2 U.S.C. 901(c)).16 The Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA, P.L. 112-25) set discretionary budget caps through FY2021 as a way of reducing federal spending.17 Bipartisan Budget Acts (BBAs) in 2013, 2015, and 2018 (P.L. 113-67, P.L. 114-74, and P.L. 115-123, respectively) have avoided sequestration on discretionary spending—with the exception of FY2013—by raising those caps (Appendix A).18

In February 2018, the BBA raised the FY2019 cap on nondefense discretionary spending by $68 billion and the cap on defense spending by $85 billion.19 It also provided language to execute (or "deem") those higher caps for the appropriations process without following the usual procedures for an FY2019 budget resolution.20

Under these higher caps and authorities, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees proceeded to mark up the FY2019 appropriations bills. The Agriculture appropriations bills are receiving roughly the same subcommittee allocation ("302(b)" allocation) in each chamber that was used to complete the FY2018 appropriation under the BBA. For FY2019, the subcommittee allocations for agriculture appropriations are

House Action

115th Congress (2018)

The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee marked up its FY2019 bill on May 9, 2018, by voice vote.21 On May 16, 2018, the full Appropriations Committee passed and reported an amended bill (H.R. 5961, H.Rept. 115-706) by a vote of 31-20 (Table 1, Figure 1).

The $23.23 billion discretionary total in the House-reported FY2019 Agriculture appropriation would be $14 million less than enacted in FY2018 (-0.1%; Table 2, Figure 3). Generally speaking, the House-reported bill does not include most of the reductions proposed by the Administration and continues the trend of appropriations from prior years.

Table 3 provides details at the agency level. The primary changes from FY2018 at the agency level that comprise the relatively flat $14 million overall decrease in the House-reported bill would do the following:

In addition to discretionary spending, the appropriations also carry funding for mandatory spending—largely determined in separate authorizing laws—that would total $121.82 billion, about $936 million less than in FY2018 because of automatic changes in economic conditions and entitlement enrollment rather than any change from congressional action. Thus, the overall total of the House-reported bill is about $145 billion.

116th Congress (2019)

As the 116th Congress began in 2019 under a funding gap (see the heading "Government Shutdown"), the House passed a six-bill full-year omnibus appropriation on January 3, 2019 (H.R. 21). The Agriculture appropriations portion is Division C of H.R. 21.

With little exception for agriculture, it is essentially identical to the Senate-passed Agriculture appropriations bill from the 115th Congress (Division C of H.R. 6147; see under the heading "Senate Action").

While the House text of Division C of H.R. 21 is essentially the Senate-passed Agriculture appropriations bill from the 115th Congress, the Senate would need to reintroduce and consider the bill for the 116th Congress.

Senate Action

115th Congress (2018)

The Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee marked up a FY2019 bill on May 22, 2018, by voice vote. On May 24, 2018, the Appropriations Committee passed and reported an amended bill (S. 2976, S.Rept. 115-259) by a vote of 31-0. On August 1, 2018, the Senate passed a four-bill minibus (H.R. 6147) by a vote of 92-6, with agriculture as Division C (Table 1, Figure 1).

The discretionary total of the Senate-passed bill is also $23.23 billion. However, the Senate bill's total would be $229 million more than enacted in FY2018 (+1%) on a comparable basis that excludes the CFTC, since the latter was part of the enacted FY2018 appropriation. The Senate-passed bill would provide about $250 million more than the House-reported bill would on a comparable basis computed by subtracting CFTC from the House bill.

Table 3 provides details at the agency level. The primary changes from FY2018 at the agency level that comprise the Senate-passed bill's overall $228 million increase are the following:

The Senate-passed bill's mandatory spending is virtually identical to that of the House-reported bill ($121.82 billion). Its overall total of discretionary and mandatory appropriations is $145 billion.

Continuing Resolutions

In the absence of a final FY2019 Agriculture appropriation, Congress enacted two continuing resolutions (CRs) to continue government operations through December 21, 2018 (P.L. 115-245, Division C, from 10/1/2018 through 12/7/2018, and P.L. 115-298 through 12/21/2018).22 On December 19, 2018, the Senate passed another CR (H.R. 695) that would have continued temporary funding through February 8, 2019, but the House-passed amendment to that bill on December 20 added Homeland Security funding for construction of physical barriers at borders and supplemental appropriations for natural disasters that the Senate did not accept.

When the last CR (P.L. 115-298) expired without further enacted budget authority, a partial government shutdown began on December 22. Some "excepted" functions such as food safety and commodity grading can continue during the funding lapse, as explained in "Government Shutdown."

In general, a CR continues the funding rates and conditions that were in the previous year's appropriation.23 The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) may prorate funding to the agencies on an annualized basis for the duration of the CR through a process known as apportionment.24 For the 81 days (22%) of FY2019 through December 21, 2018, the CRs

CRs may adjust prior-year amounts through anomalies or make specific administrative changes. Five anomalies specifically applied to the agriculture appropriation during both CRs:

Government Shutdown

When an appropriation (or CR) expires and no further budget authority has been provided, a funding gap exists and may cause operations to cease at affected agencies. In general, the Antideficiency Act (31 U.S.C. 1341 et seq.) prohibits federal agencies from obligating funds before an appropriations measure has been enacted. Exceptions may allow for certain activities to continue, such as for law enforcement, protection of human life or property, and activities funded by other means such as carryover funds or user fees. Programs that are funded by other authorities—such as entitlements or the mandatory programs in the farm bill—may also be affected if the program is executed using personnel whose salaries are funded by discretionary appropriations that are affected by the funding gap.27

For FY2019, a funding gap began on December 22, 2018, for agencies within the jurisdiction of 7 of the 12 appropriations bills, including the Agriculture appropriations bill. The last time that the government experienced a multiweek shutdown was in October 2013. Prior to that, the next previous multiday shutdown was in FY1996, though Agriculture appropriations were not affected then because a stand-alone full-year Agriculture appropriation had been enacted.28

In general, a shutdown implies the furlough of certain personnel and curtailment of affected agency activities and services. Agencies make their own determinations about activities and personnel that are "excepted" from furlough and publish their intentions in "contingency plans" that are supervised by OMB.29 For agencies in the Agriculture appropriations jurisdiction, shutdown or contingency plans were published for USDA,30 FDA,31 and the CFTC.32

USDA initially estimated on December 23 that 56% of its employees were excepted from furlough in the agencies that are funded by Agriculture appropriations (all of USDA except the Forest Service), which amounts to 35,004 staff being excepted out of 62,288.33 The number of personnel varies by agency, and it may change as a shutdown continues as funding availability changes and as new circumstances arise.

For example, nearly 90% of the FSIS and AMS staff (8,434 and 3,944 staff, respectively) were initially retained to continue food safety inspections of meat and poultry at processing plants and to continue commodity grading and inspection services for commerce. About 60% of the APHIS was excepted (4,769 staff) to continue preclearance inspection for transportation between Hawaii and Puerto Rico and the mainland and to carry out quarantine and certification for imports and exports. Resources in research laboratories and facilities that could be damaged by inattention was protected by excepting 18% (1,116 staff) of ARS. All of NRCS was initially excepted by using mandatory funding (9,342 staff).34 The Farm Service Agency initially excepted 6,427 staff (61% out of 10,479) through December 28 but then closed county offices, thereby lowering the number of excepted employees.35

While a number of selected USDA functions continue under the shutdown, many others have ceased operations. Examples of USDA functions that are not being performed by furloughed employees include data collection and analysis that inform the commodity markets, development of regulations to implement the new farm bill that was enacted in December 2018, completing the Administration's "trade aid" payments, processing and funding farm loans and guarantees, rural development loan and grant programs (rural housing, community facilities and rural water, rural business and broadband), agricultural research programs and grants, and many international assistance programs. The duration of the shutdown could expand the number of USDA activities affected.

Most of USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) programs, whether mandatory or discretionary, rely on funding provided in appropriations acts. FNS program operations during a government shutdown vary based on the different programs' available resources, determined by factors such as contingency or carryover funds and terms of the expired appropriations acts, as well as USDA's decisionmaking. Beginning in late December 2018, FNS released program-specific memoranda to states and program operators describing the status of different nutrition assistance programs during the current funding lapse.36

FDA initially retained 59% of its employees in duty status (10,344 staff out of 17,397) based on a combination of factors including carryover funding, the need to safeguard human life, and the protection of property.37 CFTC excepted 9% of its employees (61 staff out of 673) to address risks that could pose a threat to the functioning of the stock market and commodity markets and that could affect the safety of human life or the protection of property.38

Table 3. Agriculture and Related Agencies Appropriations, by Agency, FY2016-FY2019

(budget authority in millions of dollars)

 

FY2016

FY2017

FY2018

FY2019

Change FY18 to FY19

Agency or Major Program

P.L. 114-113

P.L. 115-31

P.L. 115-141

Admin. Request

House H.R. 5961

Senate
H.R. 6147

Enacted

House

Senate

Title I. Agricultural Programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Departmental Administration

373.2

403.9

396.0

369.8

387.8

389.5

-8.1

-6.5

Research, Education and Economics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agricultural Research Service

1,355.9

1,269.8

1,343.4

1,019.0

1,395.9

1,301.0

+52.6

-42.4

National Institute of Food and Agriculture

1,326.5

1,362.9

1,407.8

1,257.7

1,452.6

1,423.2

+44.8

+15.4

National Agricultural Statistics Service

168.4

171.2

191.7

165.0

173.7

174.8

-18.0

-17.0

Economic Research Service

85.4

86.8

86.8

45.0

86.8

86.8

+0.0

+0.0

Under Secretary

0.9

0.9

0.8

0.8

0.8

0.8

+0.0

+0.0

Marketing and Regulatory Programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

897.6

949.4

985.1

742.0

1,001.5

1,003.7

+16.5

+18.6

Agricultural Marketing Servicea

82.5

86.2

152.8

119.7

154.3

157.1

+1.5

+4.3

Section 32 (M)

1,303.0

1,322.0

1,344.0

1,374.0

1,374.0

1,374.0

+30.0

+30.0

Grain Inspection, Packers, Stockyards Admin.a

43.1

43.5

moved into Agricultural Marketing Servicea

Under Secretary

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.8

0.9

0.9

+0.0

+0.0

Food Safety

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Safety and Inspection Service

1,014.9

1,032.1

1,056.8

1,032.3

1,049.3

1,049.3

-7.5

-7.5

Under Secretary

0.8

0.8

0.8

0.8

0.8

0.8

+0.0

+0.0

Farm and Commodity Programsa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farm Service Agencyb

1,595.1

1,624.0

moved to Title II: Farm Production and Conservationa

FSA Farm Loans: Loan Authorityc

6,402.1

8,002.6

moved to Title II: Farm Production and Conservationa

Risk Management Agency Salaries and Exp.

74.8

74.8

moved to Title II: Farm Production and Conservationa

Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (M)

7,858.0

8,667.0

moved to Title II: Farm Production and Conservationa

Commodity Credit Corporation (M)

6,871.1

21,290.7

moved to Title II: Farm Production and Conservationa

Under Secretary

0.9

0.9

moved to Title II: Farm Production and Conservationa

Subtotal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discretionary

7,020.3

7,107.7

5,622.8

4,752.9

5,704.5

5,593.8

+81.7

-29.1

Mandatory (M)

16,032.6

31,280.2

1,344.0

1,374.0

1,374.0

1,374.0

+30.0

+30.0

Subtotal

23,052.9

38,387.9

6,966.8

6,126.9

7,078.5

6,967.8

+111.7

+0.9

Title II. Farm Production and Conservationa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business Center

1.0

196.4

115.4

1.0

+114.4

+0.0

Farm Service Agencyb

moved from Title Ia

1,625.2

1,294.2

1,518.8

1,622.7

-106.4

-2.6

FSA Farm Loans: Loan Authorityc

moved from Title Ia

8,005.6

7,617.7

7,987.7

8,017.7

-17.9

+12.1

Risk Management Agency Salaries and Exp.

moved from Title Ia

74.8

37.9

75.4

74.8

+0.6

+0.0

Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (M)

moved from Title Ia

8,913.0

8,687.0

8,687.0

8,687.0

-226.0

-226.0

Commodity Credit Corporation (M)

moved from Title Ia

14,284.8

15,410.0

15,410.0

15,410.0

+1,125.2

+1,125.2

Conservation Operations

850.9

864.5

874.1

669.0

890.3

879.1

+16.2

+5.0

Watershed and Flood Prevention

150.0

150.0

150.0

150.0

+0.0

+0.0

Watershed Rehabilitation Program

12.0

12.0

10.0

10.0

+0.0

-10.0

Under Secretary

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.9

+0.0

+0.0

Subtotal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discretionary

863.8

1,027.4

2,735.6

2,197.9

2,760.3

2,728.0

+24.7

-7.6

Mandatory (M)

moved from Title I Ia

23,198.3

24,097.5

24,097.5

24,097.5

+899.2

+899.2

Subtotal

moved from Title I Ia

25,933.9

26,295.4

26,857.8

26,825.5

+923.9

+891.6

Title III. Rural Development

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salaries and Expenses (including transfers)d

682.9

675.8

680.8

585.9

686.8

682.8

+6.0

+2.0

Rural Housing Service

1,616.4

1,654.9

1,582.4

1,351.4

1,582.5

1,585.2

+0.2

+2.8

RHS Loan Authorityc

27,496.8

28,083.4

28,390.1

27,760.0

28,345.5

28,590.1

-44.6

+200.0

Rural Business-Cooperative Servicee

90.5

97.7

109.5

0.0

99.5

104.2

-10.0

-5.4

RBCS Loan Authorityc

979.3

988.4

991.2

0.0

1,027.5

991.2

+36.3

+0.0

Rural Utilities Service

559.3

639.9

628.1f

85.2

709.6f

628.7f

+81.5

+0.6

RUS Loan Authorityc

8,210.6

8,217.0

8,219.9

7,413.1

8,419.9

8,219.9

+200.0

+0.0

Under Secretary

0.9

0.9

moved to Departmental Administration as an Assistant to the Secretarya

Subtotal, Discretionary

2,950.0

3,069.2

3,000.9f

2,022.5

3,078.5f

3,000.9f

+77.6

+0.0

Subtotal, RD Loan Authorityc

36,686.7

37,288.9

37,601.2

35,173.1

37,792.9

37,801.2

+191.6

+200.0

Title IV. Domestic Food Programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Child Nutrition Programs (M)

22,149.7

22,794.0

24,254.1

23,146.9

23,183.5

23,184.0

-1,070.6

-1,070.1

WIC Program

6,350.0

6,350.0

6,175.0

5,750.0

6,000.0

6,150.0

-175.0

-25.0

SNAP, Food and Nutrition Act Programs (M)

80,849.4

78,480.7

74,013.5

73,218.3

73,219.3

73,219.3

-794.2

-794.2

Commodity Assistance Programs

296.2

315.1

322.1

55.5

306.9

322.1

-15.2

+0.0

Nutrition Programs Administration

150.8

170.7

153.8

160.8

162.8

164.7

+9.0

+10.8

Under Secretary

0.8

0.8

0.8

0.8

0.8

0.8

+0.0

+0.0

Subtotal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discretionary

6,838.9

6,884.7

6,709.8

5,990.1

6,528.5

6,696.1

-181.2

-13.7

Mandatory (M)

102,958.1

101,226.7

98,209.6

96,342.3

96,344.8

96,344.8

-1,864.9

-1,864.9

Subtotal

109,797.0

108,111.3

104,919.4

102,332.3

102,873.3

103,040.9

-2,046.1

-1,878.5

Title V. Foreign Assistance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign Agricultural Service

191.6

196.6

199.7

193.1

204.1

212.2

+4.5

+12.6

Food for Peace Title II, and admin. expenses

1,468.5f

1,466.1f

1,600.1f

0.1

1,500.1

1,716.1

-100.0

+116.0

McGovern-Dole Food for Education

201.6

201.6

207.6

0.0

207.6

210.3

+0.0

+2.6

CCC Export Loan Salaries

6.7

8.5

8.8

7.1

9.2

8.8

+0.3

+0.0

Office of Codex Alimentarius

3.8

3.8

3.8

4.0

+0.0

+0.2

Under Secretary

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.9

+0.0

+0.0

Subtotal

1,868.5

1,872.9

2,021.0

205.0

1,925.8

2,152.3

-95.2

+131.4

Title VI. Related Agencies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food and Drug Administration

2,729.6

2,771.2

2,811.9

3,183.7

3,119.6

2,970.9

+307.7

+159.0

Commodity Futures Trading Commissiong

250.0

[250.0]

249.0

281.5

255.0

[281.5]h

+6.0

[+32.5]h

Subtotal

2,979.6

[3,021.2]

3,060.9

3,465.2

3,374.6

[3,252.4]h

+313.7

[+191.5]h

Title VII. General Provisions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reductions in Mandatory Programsi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a. Environmental Quality Incentives Program

-209.0

-179.0

-136.3

+0.0

+0.0

b. Watershed Rehabilitation Program

-68.0

-54.0

-46.2

+0.0

+0.0

c. Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

-125.0

-125.0

-125.0

+0.0

+0.0

d. Biorefinery Assistance Program

-19.0

-20.0

+0.0

+0.0

e. Biomass Crop Assistance Program

-20.0

-20.0

-21.0

+21.0

+21.0

f. Cushion of Credit (Rural Development)

-179.0

-132.0

-225.0

-50.0

-50.0

+0.0

g. Section 32

-216.0

-231.0

-342.0

+0.0

+0.0

h. Other CHIMPS and mandatory rescissions

+5.0

+17.0

+20.0

-36.4

+35.0

+5.0

+15.0

-15.0

Subtotal, CHIMPS

-831.0

-744.0

-1.0

-910.8

-15.0

+5.0

-14.0

+6.0

Rescissions (discretionary)

-34.0

-854.0

-800.0

-287.0

-300.0

-400.0

+500.0

+400.0

Other appropriations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a. Disaster/emergency programs

273.0

234.8j

+0.0

+0.0

b. Water and Waste Water

+500.0

+400.0

-500.0

-100.0

c. Broadband pilot

+600.0

+550.0

+425.0

-50.0

-175.0

d. Opioid Enforcement and Surveillance

+94.0

-94.0

-94.0

e. Food for Peace

250.0

134.0

+116.0

-116.0

-116.0

f. Other appropriations

33.1

103.4

68.1

+29.5

+64.5

-38.6

-3.6

Subtotal, Other appropriations

556.1

472.2

1,378.1

579.5

889.5

-798.6

-488.6

Total, General Provisions

-308.9

-1,125.8

577.1

-1,197.8

264.5

494.5

-312.6

-82.6

Scorekeeping Adjustmentsk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disaster declaration in this bill

-130.0

-206.1j

+0.0

+0.0

Other scorekeeping adjustments

-332.0

-524.0

-481.0

-409.0

-404.0

-404.0

+77.0

+77.0

Subtotal, Scorekeeping adjustments

-462.0

-730.1

-481.0

-409.0

-404.0

-404.0

+77.0

+77.0

Totals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discretionary: Senate basis w/o CFTC

[21,500.0]

20,877.0

[22,998.0]

16,745.2

[22,977.8]

23,226.5

-20.2

+228.5

Discretionary: House basis w/ CFTC

21,750.0

[21,127.0]

23,247.0

17,026.7

23,232.8

[23,508.0]h

-14.2

[+261.0]h

Mandatory (M)

118,990.7

132,506.9

122,752.0

121,813.8

121,816.3

121,816.3

-935.7

-935.7

Total: Senate basis w/o CFTC

[140,490.7]

153,383.9

[145,750.0]

138,559.0

[144,794.0]

145,042.8

-955.9

-707.2

Total: House basis w/ CFTC

140,740.7

[153,633.9]

145,999.0

138,840.5

145,049.0

[145,324]h

-949.9

-674.7h

Source: CRS, using appropriations text and report tables, and unpublished CBO tables.

Notes: Amounts are nominal discretionary budget authority in millions of dollars unless labeled otherwise. (M) indicates that the account is mandatory authority (or primarily mandatory authority). Excludes amounts in supplemental appropriations acts. Bracketed amounts are not in the official totals due to differing House-Senate jurisdiction for CFTC but are shown for comparison.

a. Row headings reflect recent USDA reorganization. The Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency were moved from Title I to Title II, as was the Commodity Credit Corporation and Federal Crop Insurance Corporation in mandatory spending. Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration was moved into the Agricultural Marketing Service.

b. Includes regular FSA salaries and expenses, plus transfers for farm loan program salaries and administrative expenses. Also includes farm loan program loan subsidy, State Mediation Grants, Dairy Indemnity Program (mandatory funding), and Grassroots Source Water Protection Program. Does not include appropriations to the Foreign Agricultural Service for export loans and P.L. 480 administration that are transferred to FSA.

c. Loan authority is the amount of loans that can be made or guaranteed with a loan subsidy. This amount is not added in the budget authority subtotals or totals.

d. Includes Rural Development salaries and expenses and transfers from the three rural development agencies for salaries and expenses. Amounts for the agencies thus reflect program funds for loans and grants.

e. Amounts for the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS) are before the rescission in the Cushion of Credit account, unlike in Appropriations Committee tables. The rescission is included with the CHIMPS as classified by CBO, which allows the RBCS subtotal to remain positive.

f. Excludes a portion of the other appropriations that are provided separately in General Provisions.

g. Jurisdiction for CFTC is in the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee and the Senate Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee. After FY2008, CFTC is carried in enacted Agriculture appropriations in even-numbered fiscal years in House Agriculture markup but not in Senate Agriculture markup. Bracketed amounts are not in the official totals due to differing House-Senate jurisdiction for CFTC but are shown for comparison.

h. See Division B of H.R. 6147.

i. Includes reductions (limitations and rescissions) to mandatory programs that may also be known as Changes in Mandatory Program Spending (CHIMPS).

j. Includes $206 million appropriated for the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) and Emergency Watershed Program (EWP) in the FY2017 second CR (P.L. 114-254, §185) that were offset as emergency spending. Another $29 million for ECP was included in the final appropriation (§753).

k. "Scorekeeping adjustments" are not necessarily appropriated items and may not be shown in appropriations committee tables but are part of the official CBO score (accounting) of the bill. They predominantly include "negative subsidies" in loan program accounts and adjustments for disaster designations in the bill.

Policy-Related Provisions

In addition to setting budgetary amounts, the Agriculture appropriations bill has also been a vehicle for policy-related provisions that direct how the executive branch should carry out the appropriation. These provisions may have the force of law if they are included in the text of the appropriation, usually in the General Provisions, but their effect is generally limited to the current fiscal year. Sometimes, the provisions amend the U.S. Code and have long-standing effects.

The explanatory statement that accompanies the final appropriation, and the House and Senate report language that accompanies the committee-reported bills, may also provide policy instructions. These documents do not have the force of law but often explain congressional intent, which the agencies are expected to follow.

Table 4 compares some of the major policy provisions that have been identified in the General Provisions (Title VII) of the FY2019 Agriculture appropriations bills. Many of these provisions have been included in past years' appropriations laws.

Table 4. Selected Policy Provisions in FY2019 Agriculture Appropriations

House-reported H.R. 5961

Senate-passed H.R. 6147, Division C

Disaster payments. In general, prohibits the use of Section 32, clause (3), to reestablish farmers' purchasing power by making payments to farmers. However, allows an exception to use up to $350 million of carryover for this purpose. (§715)

Similar to House provision. (§715)

Rural definition. Defines rural for the water and waste disposal guaranteed loan program as a city, town, or unincorporated area with no more than 20,000 people. (§728) Directs that eligibility for rural development programs shall not include incarcerated prison populations. (§744)

Similar to House provisions. (§§728, 744)

Persistent poverty counties. Requires that at least 10% of the funds in certain rural development programs shall be allocated to persistent poverty counties, defined as any county that has had 20% or more of its population living in poverty over the past 30 years. (§750)

No comparable provision.

Income verification. Provides USDA access to Social Security and Internal Revenue Service data to verify the income of individuals participating in certain rural housing programs. (§747)

Similar to House provision. (§748)

American steel. Prohibits funding for the rural water, wastewater, waste disposal, and solid waste management projects unless all of the iron and steel products are produced in the United States. (§743)

Similar to House provision. (§742)

No comparable provision.

Agriculture risk coverage (ARC) pilot. Directs USDA to conduct a pilot program to make payments for the ARC program that addresses disparities in the calculation of yields among counties. (§747)

No comparable provision.

Industrial hemp. Prohibits funding in contravention of the 2014 farm bill provision for research on industrial hemp or the transportation, processing, sale, or use of industrial hemp or seeds that are grown in accordance with the farm bill provision. (§729)

No comparable provision.

National Bio- and Agro-defense Facility (NBAF). Authorizes ARS and APHIS to appoint up to 50 employees annually in FY2019-2025 for NBAF at a rate of pay that exceeds the General Schedule. (§738)

No comparable provision.

Horse slaughter. Prohibits USDA from conducting horse slaughter inspection. (§758)

Animal Welfare Act. Prohibits funding to issue or renew licenses to class B dealers who sell dogs and cats for use in research, experiments, teaching, or testing. (§741)

No comparable provision.

Lab-grown meat. Directs USDA to regulate products that are made from cells of amenable species of livestock that are grown under controlled conditions for human food to prevent adulteration and misbranding. Applies to FY2018 and thereafter. (§736)

No comparable provision.

Poultry from China. Prohibits funds to buy raw or processed poultry products from China for the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service Program. (§748) Prohibits funding to finalize the proposed rule, "Eligibility of the People's Republic of China to Export to the United States Poultry Products," until USDA verifies certain conditions. (§751)

No comparable provisions.

School meal prices. Exempts certain school food authorities (those without a negative balance in their school food service accounts as of December 31, 2018) from paid meal equity requirements in school year 2019-2020. (§757)

No comparable provision.

Vegetables in school breakfast. Prohibits funding to implement or enforce the portion of a School Breakfast Program regulation that limits substituting fruits with certain vegetables. (§767)

No comparable provision.

SNAP retailer standards. Prohibits funding to administer the "variety requirements" in the final rule "Enhancing Retailer Standards in SNAP" until the Secretary amends the definition of variety to increase the number of items that qualify as acceptable varieties in each staple food category. (§727)

Similar to House provision. (§728)

SNAP disclosure. Exempts from Freedom of Information Act disclosure SNAP transaction data that contain information specific to a store, store location, person, or other entity. (§768)

No comparable provision.

Human embryos. Prohibits FDA from using funds to accept any investigational new drug application for "research in which a human embryo is intentionally created or modified to include a heritable genetic modification." (§732)

Similar to House provision. (§733)

Partially hydrogenated oils. Directs FDA that no food containing partially hydrogenated oils shall be considered to be adulterated on that basis so long as it enters interstate commerce before June 18, 2018. (§740)

Similar to House provision. (§736)

Sodium. Prevents FDA from developing regulations or issuing final guidance for population-wide sodium reduction actions until a dietary reference intake report is completed. (§752)

Similar to House provision. (§750)

Grapes for wine. Prohibits FDA funds to enforce the final rule "Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption" with respect to grape varietals used solely for wine. (§755)

Similar to House provision. (§753)

Dietary guidelines. Directs USDA to submit a report to Congress within 180 days about the process used to establish the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, including the recommendations from the National Academies of Science report, "Redesigning the Process for Establishing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans." (§763)

No comparable provision.

Added sugars. Prohibits funds to administer the final rule "Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels" to the extent that it requires added sugars labeling for single-ingredient foods to which sugars or sweeteners are not added (e.g., honey or maple syrup). (§764)

Similar to House provision. (§768)

Genetically engineered salmon. Directs that disclosure requirements for genetically engineered salmon or finfish follow the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard and subsequent USDA regulations. (§766)

Prohibits FDA from allowing genetically engineered salmon into interstate commerce until it publishes final labeling guidelines. (§740)

CFTC statutes. Amends the Commodity Exchange Act to address the initial margin requirements for certain swap transactions. (§738) Further amends the act by directing CFTC to consider cost-benefit analysis in its regulations (using language from a House-passed bill, H.R. 238). (§760)

No comparable provision.

Cigar regulation. Prohibits funds to administer the FDA final "deeming rule" from May 10, 2016, with respect to traditional large and premium cigars. (§769) Prohibits funds to regulate cigars and pipe tobacco differently than April 25, 2014, the date that such tobacco products were proposed to be deemed subject to certain requirements. (§770)

No comparable provision.

Tobacco products. Amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act concerning the registration of substantially equivalent tobacco products. (§771)

No comparable provision.

Vapor products. Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking, within 21 months, establishing a product standard for vapor products and to promulgate a final rule within 36 months. (§772) Deems a vapor product to be misbranded if it is advertised in a nonadult publication, specifies terms for distributing vapor products in other than direct face-to-face sales, directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to promulgate regulations requiring labeling of vapor products, and imposes registration requirements on vapor product retailers. (§773) Amends the Pro-Children Act of 1994 to extend the prohibition on smoking in certain facilities that provide children's services to vapor products. (§774) Amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to add age verification requirements for remote sales of vapor products. (§775) Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to submit a report to Congress within 180 days about the Youth Vapor Product Education, Prevention, and Enforcement Program. (§776)

No comparable provision.

Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). Directs the FDA commissioner to conduct a study and submit a report to Congress within 180 days on preventing the use of ENDS by youth. (§777)

No comparable provision.

No comparable provision.

Prevents certain changes from occurring under implementation of the Grain Standards Act. (§759)

No comparable provision.

Provides for technical assistance to respond to volcanic eruptions. (§760)

No comparable provision.

Directs USDA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to establish a working group and issue a report on ocean farming practices and ways to deacidify oceans. (§761)

No comparable provision.

Directs USDA to submit a report to Congress describing how conservation programs may be used to conserve ocelots (wild cats native to the southwestern United States). (§762)

No comparable provision.

Directs the Rural Housing Service to submit a report to Congress about the housing affected by Title V of the Housing Act of 1949, its loan status, and its affordability. (§763)

No comparable provision.

Directs the FDA to revise the advice in a notice about eating fish, to be consistent with nutrition science recognized by FDA about seafood consumption. (§764)

No comparable provision.

Amends implementation of a broadband program in the 2018 Agriculture Appropriation regarding eligibility determination and expansion efforts. (§765)

Source: CRS.

Appendix A. Budget Sequestration

Sequestration is a process to reduce federal spending through automatic, largely across-the-board reductions that permanently cancel mandatory and/or discretionary budget authority.39 Sequestration is triggered as a budget enforcement mechanism when federal spending would exceed statutory budget goals.40 Sequestration is currently authorized by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA; P.L. 112-25).

Table A-1 shows the rates of sequestration that have been announced and the total amounts of budget authority that have been cancelled from accounts in Agriculture appropriations. Table A-2 provides additional detail at the account level for mandatory accounts.

Table A-1. Sequestration from Accounts in Agriculture Appropriations

(budget authority that was sequestered, in millions of dollars)

 

Discretionary Accounts

Mandatory Accounts

Fiscal Year

Rate

Amount

Rate

Amount

2013

5.0%

1,153

5.1%

713

2014

7.2%

1,052

2015

7.3%

1,153

2016

6.8%

1,819

2017

6.9%

1,686

2018

6.6%

1,316

2019

6.2%

1,530

Source: CRS, compiled from OMB, Reports to the Congress on the Joint Committee Reductions, various fiscal years. Available for FY2018-FY2019 at https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/legislative/sequestration-reports-orders and for FY2013-FY2017 at https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/omb/legislative_reports/sequestration.

Notes: Sequestration rates listed here are for nonexempt, nondefense accounts. Amount totals were computed by CRS as compiled in Table A-2.

Discretionary Spending

For discretionary spending, sequestration is authorized through FY2021 if discretionary defense and nondefense spending exceed caps that are specified in statute (2 U.S.C. 901(c)).

In FY2013, the timing of the appropriations acts and the first year of sequestration resulted in triggering sequestration on discretionary spending.

In FY2014-FY2018, Bipartisan Budget Acts in 2013, 2015, and 2018 (BBAs; P.L. 113-67, P.L. 114-74, and P.L. 115-123, respectively) have avoided sequestration on discretionary spending. These BBAs raised the discretionary budget caps that were placed in statute by the BCA and allowed Congress to enact larger appropriations than would have been allowed.

For FY2019, the BBA in 2018 similarly provides a higher discretionary cap that may avoid sequestration (see "Discretionary Budget Caps and Subcommittee Allocations").

Mandatory Spending

Authorization of Sequestration

For mandatory spending, sequestration is presently authorized through FY2027, having been amended and extended by acts that were subsequent to the BCA (2 U.S.C. 901a(6)). That is, sequestration continues to apply annually to certain accounts of mandatory spending and is not avoided by the BBAs (Table A-1).

The original FY2021 sunset on the sequestration of mandatory accounts has been extended four times as an offset to pay for avoiding sequestration on discretionary spending in the near term or as a general budgetary offset for other authorization acts:

Exemptions from Sequestration

Some farm bill mandatory programs are exempt from sequestration. Those expressly exempt by statute are the nutrition programs (SNAP, the child nutrition programs, and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program)44 and the Conservation Reserve Program.45 Some prior legal obligations in the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation46 and the farm commodity programs may be exempt47 as determined by OMB.48

Generally speaking, the experience since FY2013 is that OMB has ruled that most of crop insurance is exempt from sequestration, while the farm commodity programs, disaster assistance, and most conservation programs have been subject to it.49

Implementation of Sequestration

Sequestration on nonexempt mandatory accounts continues in FY2019. Nonexempt mandatory spending is to be reduced by a 6.2% sequestration rate and thus paid at 93.8% of what would otherwise have been provided. This results in a reduction of about $1.5 billion from mandatory agriculture accounts in FY2019.

Table A-2. Sequestration of Mandatory Accounts in Agriculture Appropriations

(sequestered budget authority in millions of dollars)

 

FY2013

FY2014

FY2015

FY2016

FY2017

FY2018

FY2019

Sequestration rate on nonexempt, nondefense mandatory accounts

5.1%

7.2%

7.3%

6.8%

6.9%

6.6%

6.2%

U.S. Department of Agriculture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Office of the Secretary

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.8

Office of Chief Economist

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

Agricultural Research Service

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

National Institute of Food and Agriculture

9.9

10.0

Extension

0.3

0.4

1.8

3.3

0.3

Biomass Research and Development

0.2

0.2

0.2

Integrated Activities

7.3

6.6

5.0

Farm Production and Conservation Business Center

3.7

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salaries appropriation

13.6

18.8

21.5

20.1

19.5

18.8

52.1

Miscellaneous Trust Funds

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

Food Safety Inspection Service

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Admin.

2.1

3.0

3.0

3.1

3.1

2.9

Agricultural Marketing Service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Section 32

40.4

79.7

81.9

77.3

79.6

78.1

74.4

Milk Market Orders Assessment Fund

2.9

4.2

4.2

4.0

4.1

4.0

3.8

Perishable Agriculture Commodities Act

0.6

0.8

0.8

0.8

0.8

0.7

0.7

Expenses and refunds

0.4

0.9

0.9

1.3

1.3

0.4

0.4

Payments to states and possessions

5.3

5.0

5.0

5.6

5.3

Marketing services

2.2

2.0

2.1

2.0

3.0

Risk Management Agency

0.6

Federal Crop Insurance Corporation

3.0

4.2

5.9

3.5

3.9

3.7

5.0

Farm Service Agency

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commodity Credit Corporation Fund

329.5

573.7

710.8

1,388.6

1,238.6

904.1

1,088.2

Agricultural Credit Insurance Corporation

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

Commodity Credit Corporation Export Loans

0.4

0.4

0.3

0.3

Pima Cotton Trust Fund

1.1

1.1

1.1

Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trust Fund

2.0

2.1

2.0

1.9

Agricultural Disaster Relief Fund

70.0

Tobacco Trust Fund

49.0

69.1

Natural Resources Conservation Service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farm bill conservation programs

171.2

263.1

269.9

265.7

281.5

254.9

262.4

Watershed Rehabilitation Program

11.9

11.2

4.7

4.7

4.4

3.0

Damage Assessment Restoration Revolving Fund

0.1

Rural Development, Rural Business Coop. Service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rural Energy for America Program

1.1

3.0

3.7

3.4

3.5

3.3

3.1

Economic Development Grants

0.9

Rural Microenterprise Investment Program

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

Energy Assistance Payments

3.3

3.2

1.1

1.0

1.0

1.0

Biorefinery Assistance Program

3.7

3.4

1.4

1.3

Rural Economic Development Grants

1.6

Foreign Agricultural Service

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

Food and Nutrition Servicea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SNAP

4.7

8.0

8.4

9.8

10.6

9.6

9.2

Child Nutrition Programs

2.5

4.2

4.2

3.9

4.3

4.0

3.9

Commodity Assistance Program

1.1

1.5

1.5

1.4

1.4

1.4

1.3

WIC

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

Related Agencies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food and Drug Administration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revolving Fund for Certification

0.4

0.6

0.6

0.6

0.6

0.6

0.6

User Fees

16.3

Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation

0.2

0.3

0.3

0.3

0.3

0.3

0.2

Commodity Futures Trading Commission

0.7

0.9

1.0

2.2

2.2

0.1

0.3

Total

713.3

1,051.9

1,153.0

1,818.9

1,685.6

1,315.9

1,530.3

Source: CRS, compiled from OMB, Reports to the Congress on the Joint Committee Reductions, various fiscal years. Available for FY2018-FY2019 at https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/legislative/sequestration-reports-orders and for FY2013-FY2017 athttps://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/omb/legislative_reports/sequestration.

Notes: Sequestration rates are for nonexempt, nondefense accounts. The sequesterable budget authority for each cell may be computed by dividing the amount of sequestration by the sequestration rate. Column totals were computed by CRS based on the jurisdiction of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee.

a. Benefits from the nutrition programs are generally exempt from sequestration by statute, but some administrative expenses in these programs may be subject to sequestration, and therefore a relatively small portion of the total budget authority may be sequesterable.

Appendix B. Action on Agriculture Appropriations, FY1996-FY2019

Table B-1. Congressional Action on Agriculture Appropriations Since FY1996

 

House Action

Senate Action

Final Appropriation

 

Fiscal Year

Subcmte.

Cmte.

Floor

Subcmte.

Cmte.

Floor

Enacteda

Public Law

CRS Report

1996

6/14/1995

6/27/1995

7/21/1995

9/13/1995

9/14/1995

9/20/1995

10/21/1995

E

P.L. 104-37

95-624

1997

5/30/1996

6/6/1996

6/12/1996

7/10/1996

7/11/1996

7/24/1996

8/6/1996

E

P.L. 104-180

IB96015

1998

6/25/1997

7/14/1997

7/24/1997

7/15/1997

7/17/1997

7/24/1997

11/18/1997

E

P.L. 105-86

97-201

1999

6/10/1998

6/16/1998

6/24/1998

6/9/1998

6/11/1998

7/16/1998

10/21/1998

O

P.L. 105-277

98-201

2000

5/13/1999

5/24/1999

6/8/1999

6/15/1999

6/17/1999

8/4/1999

10/22/1999

E

P.L. 106-78

RL30201

2001

5/4/2000

5/16/2000

7/11/2000

5/4/2000

5/10/2000

7/20/2000

10/28/2000

E

P.L. 106-387

RL30501

2002

6/6/2001

6/27/2001

7/11/2001

Polled outb

7/18/2001

10/25/2001

11/28/2001

E

P.L. 107-76

RL31001

2003

6/26/2002

7/26/2002

7/23/2002

7/25/2002

2/20/2003

O

P.L. 108-7

RL31301

2004

6/17/2003

7/9/2003

7/14/2003

7/17/2003

11/6/2003

11/6/2003

1/23/2004

O

P.L. 108-199

RL31801

2005

6/14/2004

7/7/2004

7/13/2004

9/8/2004

9/14/2004

12/8/2004

O

P.L. 108-447

RL32301

2006

5/16/2005

6/2/2005

6/8/2005

6/21/2005

6/27/2005

9/22/2005

11/10/2005

E

P.L. 109-97

RL32904

2007

5/3/2006

5/9/2006

5/23/2006

6/20/2006

6/22/2006

2/15/2007

Y

P.L. 110-5

RL33412

2008

7/12/2007

7/19/2007

8/2/2007

7/17/2007

7/19/2007

12/26/2007

O

P.L. 110-161

RL34132

2009

6/19/2008

Polled outb

7/17/2008

3/11/2009

O

P.L. 111-8

R40000

2010

6/11/2009

6/18/2009

7/9/2009

Polled outb

7/7/2009

8/4/2009

10/21/2009

E

P.L. 111-80

R40721

2011

6/30/2010

Polled outb

7/15/2010

4/15/2011

Y

P.L. 112-10

R41475

2012

5/24/2011

5/31/2011

6/16/2011

Polled outb

9/7/2011

11/1/2011

11/18/2011

O

P.L. 112-55

R41964

2013

6/6/2012

6/19/2012

Polled outb

4/26/2012

3/26/2013

O

P.L. 113-6

R43110

2014

6/5/2013

6/13/2013

6/18/2013

6/20/2013

1/17/2014

O

P.L. 113-76

R43110

2015

5/20/2014

5/29/2014

5/20/2014

5/22/2014

12/16/2014

O

P.L. 113-235

R43669

2016

6/18/2015

7/8/2015

7/14/2015

7/16/2015

12/18/2015

O

P.L. 114-113

R44240

2017

4/13/2016

4/19/2016

5/17/2016

5/19/2016

5/5/2017

O

P.L. 115-31

R44588

2018

6/28/2017

7/12/2017

9/14/2017

7/18/2017

7/20/2017

3/23/2018

O

P.L. 115-141

R45128

2019

5/9/2018

5/16/2018

5/22/2018

5/24/2018

8/1/2018

R45230

Source: CRS.

a. E = Enacted as standalone appropriation (seven times over 22 years); O = Omnibus appropriation (13 times); Y = Year-long CR (two times).

b. A procedure that permits a Senate subcommittee to transmit a bill to its full committee without a formal markup session. See CRS Report RS22952, Proxy Voting and Polling in Senate Committee.

Author Contact Information

[author name scrubbed], Specialist in Agricultural Policy ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])

Key Policy Staff

Area of Expertise

Name

Agricultural appropriations, USDA budget

[author name scrubbed]

Agricultural Marketing Service

Joel Greene

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[author name scrubbed]

Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Rena Miller

Conservation

[author name scrubbed]

Crop insurance

[author name scrubbed]

Disaster assistance

[author name scrubbed]

Farm Service Agency

[author name scrubbed]

Food and Drug Administration

[author name scrubbed]

Food safety, generally

[author name scrubbed]

Food safety, meat and poultry inspection

Joel Greene

International food aid

Alyssa Casey

Nutrition and domestic food assistance

[author name scrubbed]

[author name scrubbed]

Research and extension

[author name scrubbed]

Rural development

[author name scrubbed]

Trade

[author name scrubbed]

Footnotes

1.

Jurisdiction for CFTC appropriations differs between the chambers. Since FY2008, CFTC is marked up in the Agriculture Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee and in the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The enacted CFTC appropriation is carried in the Agriculture bill in even-numbered fiscal years and in the Financial Services bill in odd-numbered fiscal years.

2.

See CRS Report R44582, Overview of Funding Mechanisms in the Federal Budget Process, and Selected Examples.

3.

See CRS Report R42388, The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction.

4.

Mandatory spending creates funding stability and consistency compared to annual discretionary appropriations. In agriculture, it originated with farm commodity programs that had uncertain outlays due to weather and markets.

5.

See CRS Report 98-560, Baselines and Scorekeeping in the Federal Budget Process.

6.

P.L. 113-79. See CRS In Focus IF10783, Farm Bill Primer: Budget Issues.

7.

P.L. 111-296. See CRS Report R44373, Tracking the Next Child Nutrition Reauthorization: An Overview.

8.

See CRS Report RS20129, Entitlements and Appropriated Entitlements in the Federal Budget Process.

9.

OMB, FY2019 Budget of the U.S. Government, Appendix, https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/appendix.

10.

USDA, FY2019 USDA Budget Summary; and USDA, 2019 Budget Explanatory Notes, http://www.obpa.usda.gov.

11.

FDA, FY2019 FDA Justification of Estimates for Appropriations, https://www.hhs.gov/about/budget/index.html.

12.

CFTC, FY2019 CFTC Budget Request, https://www.cftc.gov/sites/default/files/idc/groups/public/documents/file/cftcbudget2019.pdf.

13.

FCA, FY2019 FCA Proposed Budget, https://www.fca.gov/Download/BudgetFY2019.pdf.

14.

OMB, FY2019 Budget of the U.S. Government, Major Savings and Reforms.

15.

CRS Report R42388, The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction.

16.

CRS Report R42972, Sequestration as a Budget Enforcement Process: Frequently Asked Questions.

17.

CRS Report R43411, The Budget Control Act of 2011: Legislative Changes to the Law and Their Budgetary Effects.

18.

Looking to the future, though, the budget caps for FY2020 and FY2021 remain unchanged from the original BCA in 2011. They are less than the revised caps for FY2019. Unless the caps change, this implies less future spending.

19.

CRS Insight IN10861, Discretionary Spending Levels Under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.

20.

CRS Report R45157, The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and an FY2019 Budget Resolution.

21.

The House subcommittee draft is at https://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP01/20180509/108287/BILLS-115HR-SC-AP-FY2019-Agriculture-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf, and the draft of the committee report is at https://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP00/20180516/108312/HRPT-115-HR-FY2019-Agriculture.pdf.

22.

CRS Report R42647, Continuing Resolutions: Overview of Components and Recent Practices.

23.

CRS Report RL34700, Interim Continuing Resolutions (CRs): Potential Impacts on Agency Operations.

24.

For example, if a CR lasts for three months, then 3/12 of the previous fiscal year amount may be apportioned to limit agency spending. See OMB, "Apportionment of the Continuing Resolution(s) for Fiscal Year 2019," September 28, 2018, https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/bulletin_no_18_05.pdf.

25.

CRS In Focus IF10989, Expiration of the 2014 Farm Bill: Some Potential Implications.

26.

CRS Report R45310, Farm Policy: USDA's Trade Aid Package.

27.

CRS Report RL34680, Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects.

28.

CRS Report RS20348, Federal Funding Gaps: A Brief Overview.

29.

OMB, "Agency Contingency Plans," https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/information-for-agencies/agency-contingency-plans.

30.

USDA, "U.S. Department of Agriculture Lapse in Funding Plans," various agency-level documents, December 2018, https://www.usda.gov/shutdownplans.

31.

HHS, "FY2019 HHS Contingency Staffing Plan for Operations in the Absence of Enacted Annual Agriculture and Interior Appropriations," https://www.hhs.gov/about/budget/fy-2019-hhs-contingency-staffing-plan/index.html.

32.

CFTC, "CFTC Plan for Lapse in Appropriations," December 18, 2018, https://www.cftc.gov/sites/default/files/2018-12/CFTCPlanLapseAppropriations121818.pdf.

33.

CRS analysis of USDA in "Summary of Activities to be Continued in the Event of a Government Shutdown," December 23, 2018, https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/usda-shutdown-plan-summary-2.pdf.

34.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, "NRCS Is Open for Business," https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/home/?cid=NRCSEPRD1434827 (accessed January 2, 2019).

35.

Farm Service Agency, "Government Shutdown Information," https://www.fsa.usda.gov/help/shutdowninfo, accessed January 2, 2019.

36.

FNS, "Information on Program Operations in Light of Lapse in Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations for the Food and Nutrition Service," https://www.fns.usda.gov/FY19Lapse.

37.

HHS, "FY2019 Contingency Staffing Plan," December 21, 2018, https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/fy-2019-hhs-lapse-contingency-plan-narrative-december-ag-interior.pdf.

38.

CFTC, "CFTC Plan for Lapse in Appropriations."

39.

CRS Report R43411, The Budget Control Act of 2011: Legislative Changes to the Law and Their Budgetary Effects.

40.

CRS Report R42972, Sequestration as a Budget Enforcement Process: Frequently Asked Questions.

41.

CBO, Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, December 11, 2013, https://www.cbo.gov/publication/44964.

42.

CBO, Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, October 28, 2015, https://www.cbo.gov/publication/50938. In addition to extending sequestration and related to mandatory spending in agriculture, crop insurance was used as an additional budgetary offset in BBA 2015. The effect was temporary, however, and the crop insurance reduction was restored. For more background, see the section on crop insurance and the Standard Reinsurance Agreement in CRS Report R44240, Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2016 Appropriations.

43.

CBO, Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, February 8, 2018, https://www.cbo.gov/publication/53556.

44.

2 U.S.C. 905 (h).

45.

2 U.S.C. 905(g)(1)(A).

46.

2 U.S.C. 905 (g)(2).

47.

2 U.S.C. 906 (j).

48.

Some administrative expenses may be subject to sequestration, and therefore programs that are otherwise exempt may have a relatively small sequesterable amount compared to their total budget authority as shown, for example, in Table A-2 for the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, SNAP, child nutrition programs, and WIC.

49.

CRS Report R42050, Budget "Sequestration" and Selected Program Exemptions and Special Rules.