Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2014 and FY2013 (Post-Sequestration) Appropriations

The annual Agriculture appropriations bill provides funding for all of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) except the Forest Service, plus the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and, in even-numbered fiscal years, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

The FY2014 Agriculture and Related Agencies appropriations bill was included as Division A of the FY2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act, an omnibus appropriation that was enacted on January 17, 2014 (P.L. 113-76). It provides $20.880 billion of discretionary funding for agricultural and related programs. This is $1.165 billion (+5.9%) more than the post-sequestration amount for FY2013 (P.L. 113-6). Post-sequestration amounts for FY2013 programs became known during the development of the FY2014 appropriation, and are included in this report.

Although the appropriation’s primary focus is allocating discretionary funds, it also carries mandatory spending for FY2014 that totals $124.6 billion, primarily for domestic nutrition assistance ($101.4 billion), crop insurance ($9.5 billion), and farm commodity and conservation programs ($12.5 billion), although these generally are determined by authorizing legislation such as the farm bill. The total Agriculture appropriation, therefore, with discretionary and mandatory authority is $145.5 billion in FY2014.

The largest discretionary items comprising the $20.88 billion discretionary appropriation are as follows.

Domestic nutrition programs, including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), receive $7.15 billion, up 3% from FY2013 post-sequestration levels.

FDA receives $2.56 billion of appropriated funding, up 7% from FY2013.

Agricultural research agencies total $2.64 billion, up 10% from FY2013.

Rural Development agencies receive $2.57 billion, up about 13% from FY2013.

Foreign aid and trade programs receive $1.84 billion, up about 8% form FY2013.

The Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency receive about $1.66 billion for salaries and expenses, and farm loans, up 6% from FY2013.

USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service receives $1.01 billion, up 3% from FY2013.

Conservation Operations and Watershed Rehabilitation programs receive $0.83 billion, up nearly 6% from FY2013.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service receives $0.82 billion, up 8% from FY2013.

The FY2014 appropriation also contains several policy directives that, among other things, limit USDA’s ability to regulate livestock and poultry marketing practices, and encourage a delay in implementing some country-of-origin labeling rules.

Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2014 and FY2013 (Post-Sequestration) Appropriations

March 10, 2014 (R43110)

Contents

Tables

Summary

The annual Agriculture appropriations bill provides funding for all of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) except the Forest Service, plus the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and, in even-numbered fiscal years, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

The FY2014 Agriculture and Related Agencies appropriations bill was included as Division A of the FY2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act, an omnibus appropriation that was enacted on January 17, 2014 (P.L. 113-76). It provides $20.880 billion of discretionary funding for agricultural and related programs. This is $1.165 billion (+5.9%) more than the post-sequestration amount for FY2013 (P.L. 113-6). Post-sequestration amounts for FY2013 programs became known during the development of the FY2014 appropriation, and are included in this report.

Although the appropriation's primary focus is allocating discretionary funds, it also carries mandatory spending for FY2014 that totals $124.6 billion, primarily for domestic nutrition assistance ($101.4 billion), crop insurance ($9.5 billion), and farm commodity and conservation programs ($12.5 billion), although these generally are determined by authorizing legislation such as the farm bill. The total Agriculture appropriation, therefore, with discretionary and mandatory authority is $145.5 billion in FY2014.

The largest discretionary items comprising the $20.88 billion discretionary appropriation are as follows.

  • Domestic nutrition programs, including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), receive $7.15 billion, up 3% from FY2013 post-sequestration levels.
  • FDA receives $2.56 billion of appropriated funding, up 7% from FY2013.
  • Agricultural research agencies total $2.64 billion, up 10% from FY2013.
  • Rural Development agencies receive $2.57 billion, up about 13% from FY2013.
  • Foreign aid and trade programs receive $1.84 billion, up about 8% form FY2013.
  • The Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency receive about $1.66 billion for salaries and expenses, and farm loans, up 6% from FY2013.
  • USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service receives $1.01 billion, up 3% from FY2013.
  • Conservation Operations and Watershed Rehabilitation programs receive $0.83 billion, up nearly 6% from FY2013.
  • The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service receives $0.82 billion, up 8% from FY2013.

The FY2014 appropriation also contains several policy directives that, among other things, limit USDA's ability to regulate livestock and poultry marketing practices, and encourage a delay in implementing some country-of-origin labeling rules.


Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2014 and FY2013 (Post-Sequestration) Appropriations

Scope of the Agriculture Appropriations Bill

The Agriculture appropriations bill—formally known as the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act—provides funding for:

  • all of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) except the Forest Service, which is funded in the Interior appropriations bill,
  • the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the Department of Health and Human Services, and
  • in the House, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). In the Senate, the Financial Services bill contains CFTC appropriations. In even-numbered fiscal years, CFTC appears in the enacted Agriculture appropriation.

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 both mandatory and discretionary spending, although most decision-making concerns discretionary spending. See Appendix A for more on scope and terminology.

The primary focus of this report is the FY2014 appropriation. However, due to the timing of the FY2013 appropriation and budget sequestration, this report also presents the final FY2013 data.

Action on FY2014 Appropriations

Omnibus Action

The FY2014 Agriculture and Related Agencies appropriation was enacted as Division A of the FY2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act, P.L. 113-76—an omnibus appropriation that included all 12 appropriations subcommittee bills (Table 1). The omnibus bill was filed on January 13, 2014, passed in each chamber, and signed by the President on January 17, 2014.

The final FY2014 appropriation became possible after the budget agreement in December 2013 (the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, P.L. 113-67) set a total government-wide discretionary spending amount of $1.012 trillion.1 Appendix B summarizes action on previous appropriations.

House Action

The Agriculture Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee marked up its FY2014 appropriations bill by voice vote on June 5, 2013. The full House Appropriations Committee reported the bill (H.R. 2410) by voice vote2 on June 13, 2013, and officially reported the bill on June 18. In preparation for floor action, an open rule for the bill was passed on the floor June 26, 2013, but floor proceedings for the bill did not occur.

Senate Action

The Agriculture Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its FY2014 bill on June 18, 2013. The full Appropriations Committee reported the bill (S. 1244) by a 23-6 vote on June 20, and officially reported it on June 27. Floor proceeding on S. 1244 did not occur.

Funding Gap and Continuing Resolutions

When FY2014 began, no appropriation had been enacted for the Agriculture bill or for any of the other subcommittee bills. From October 1 through October 16, 2013, there was a "funding gap" (a 16-day government shutdown).3 Eventually, a continuing resolution (P.L. 113-46) was enacted that funded the government through January 15, 2014. A second, three-day continuing resolution (P.L. 113-73) was needed to complete the full-year omnibus appropriation (P.L. 113-76).

Table 1. Congressional Action on FY2014 Agriculture Appropriations

Subcommittee

Committee

Initial Passage

Conference Agreement

Public Law

House

Senate

House

Senate

House

Senate

Report

House

Senate

6/5/2013

Drafta

Voice vote

6/18/2013

Voice vote

6/13/2013

H.R. 2410

H.Rept. 113-116

Voice vote

6/20/2013

S. 1244

S.Rept. 113-46

Vote of 23-6

Rule passed 235-187 H.Res. 274

No action on bill

1/13/2014

Report for Division Ab

1/15/2014

H.R. 3547

Vote of 359-67

1/16/2014

H.R. 3547

Vote of 72-26

1/17/2014

P.L. 113-76

Source: CRS.

a. The House subcommittee posted a draft of the bill before markup at http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-113hr-sc-ap-fy2014-agriculture-subcommitteedraft.pdf.

b. The joint explanatory statement for Division A is available at http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20140113/113-HR3547-JSOM-FM-B.pdf. Other parts of the omnibus are at http://rules.house.gov/bill/113/hr-3547-sa.

Action on FY2013 Appropriations

The FY2013 Agriculture and Related Agencies appropriation was enacted as Division A of the FY2013 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, P.L. 113-6—an omnibus appropriation for 5 of the 12 appropriation subcommittee bills and a year-long continuing resolution for the other 7 appropriations subcommittee bills (Table 2). The Senate explanatory statement was filed on March 11, 2013, passed in the Senate in an exchange of amendments to an earlier-passed House version, and later was adopted in the House. The bill was signed by the President on March 26, 2013.

Both the House and the Senate reported bills for FY2013 Agriculture appropriations, but in the previous Congress. The Senate full committee moved first, reporting S. 2375 (S.Rept. 112-163) on April 26, 2012. The House subcommittee marked up its bill on June 6, 2012, followed by full committee action on H.R. 5973 (H.Rept. 112-542) on June 19, 2012. In preparation for floor action, an open rule for the bill was passed on the floor June 26, 2012, but floor proceedings for the bill did not occur. No further action occurred on the agriculture appropriations bills.4

FY2013 began under a continuing resolution (CR; P.L. 112-175) that lasted until March 27, 2013. The CR funded discretionary operations at FY2012 levels plus 0.612%. It continued mandatory programs at needed funding levels, and continued other conditions and limits from FY2012.

Table 2. Congressional Action on FY2013 Agriculture Appropriations

112th Congress

113th Congress

Subcommittee

Committee

Initial Passage

Conference Agreement

Public Law

House

Senate

House

Senate

House

Senate

Report

House

Senate

6/6/2012

Drafta

Voice vote

Polled outb

6/19/2012

H.R. 5973

H.Rept. 112-542

Voice vote

4/26/2012

S. 2375

S.Rept. 112-163

Vote of 28-1

Rule passed 229-166 H.Res. 697

No action on bill

3/11/2013

Report for Division Ac

3/21/2013

H.R. 933

Vote of 318-109

3/20/2013

H.R. 933

Vote of 73-26

3/26/2013

P.L. 113-6

Source: CRS.

a. The House subcommittee posted a draft of the bill before markup at http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-112-hr-sc-ap-fy13-agriculture.pdf.

b. A procedure that permits a bill to advance if subcommittee members independently agree to move it along.

c. The Senate explanatory statement, which was adopted by both chambers, is available in the Congressional Record of March 11, 2013, pp. S1287ff, at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/C?r113:./temp/~r113xXjd4m.

Summary of Amounts in the Appropriations

Amounts in the FY2014 Appropriation

In December 2013, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (P.L. 113-67) broke an impasse in advancing FY2014 appropriations by setting a government-wide discretionary total of $1.012 trillion.5 This amount does not require any budget sequestration of discretionary accounts.6

The Agriculture subcommittees subsequently were allocated $20.880 billion for discretionary appropriations in the omnibus. This is $1.165 billion (+5.9%) more than the post-sequestration amount for FY2013, after adjusting for the alternating year placement of CFTC in enacted bills. Mandatory spending amounts of $124.6 billion also are carried in the bill, but generally are determined by authorizing legislation such as the farm bill. The total Agriculture appropriation in FY2014, therefore, is $145.5 billion.

Figure 1. FY2014 Agriculture and Related Agencies Appropriations

(budget authority in billions of dollars)

Source: CRS, compiled from tables in the joint explanatory statement for P.L. 113-76.

Notes: Does not show some agencies under $0.5 billion, including CFTC, AMS, GIPSA, and department administration. Together these approximately are offset by reductions in the general provisions title.

Figure 1 illustrates the distribution of mandatory and discretionary spending among major divisions and agencies in the FY2014 appropriation. Table 3 summarizes the amounts in the appropriations bill, by title and for major agencies, and compares them to prior years.

The House-reported bill for FY2014 would have reduced discretionary Agriculture appropriations to $19.45 billion, a reduction of $265 million from FY2013 levels, after adjusting for the alternating-year placement of CFTC in Financial Services and Agriculture appropriations bills. The bill was $516 million below the Administration's request for FY2014.

The Senate-reported bill would have increased discretionary Agriculture appropriations to $20.916 billion, an increase of $1.4 billion from FY2013 levels. The Senate bill would have provided about $1.7 billion more than the House bill, after putting the House bill on the same basis as the Senate bill without CFTC.

The House- and Senate-reported appropriations bills for FY2014 differed in their approach to handling budget sequestration requirements. This difference in approach resulted in relatively large differences between the bill totals. The House approach generally was to set spending levels low enough to avoid sequestration, while the Senate approach assumed that Congress would reach agreement to replace sequestration with other spending reductions. The omnibus agreement generally tended to set amounts closer to the Senate proposal.

Post-Sequestration Amounts for FY2013

The amount of budget authority that was available to agencies for FY2013 is unclear from many published appropriations documents for several reasons. The fiscal year began under a six-month continuing resolution that initially continued funding basically at FY2012 levels through March 27, 2013 (P.L. 112-175). Near the end of this period, on March 1, 2013, budget sequestration was ordered pursuant to the Budget Control Act of 2011, which reduced budgetary authority for FY2013 by about 5%.7

When the full-year FY2013 Agriculture appropriation (P.L. 113-6, Division A) was enacted on March 26, 2013,8 the explanatory statements and tables incorporated neither the two across-the-board rescissions that were included within the bill, nor the prior budget sequestration. The combined reductions often totaled over 7.5% from the initial appropriated amount. Yet official documents often were neither complete nor consistent in the information provided about the amount that actually was available to agencies. This is because across-the-board rescissions, sequestration, and certain subsequent adjustments needed to be applied to the appropriated amounts. In some cases, these amounts had to be determined by the Administration.

For example, the House Appropriations Committee report for its FY2014 Agriculture appropriations bill (H.Rept. 113-116) included a column for FY2013 and incorporated the first across-the-board rescission (2.513% for non-security accounts; 0.1% for security accounts; 9 §3001 of P.L. 113-6). But it did not incorporate the second across-the-board rescission (0.2% for non-security accounts; 0.032% for security accounts;10 §3004) or the sequestration.

The Senate Appropriations Committee report for its FY2014 bill (S.Rept. 113-46) included both rescissions, but not sequestration.

USDA subsequently published a FY2013 Operating Plan that included, at the agency level, all of the rescissions and sequestration in FY2013.11 Another unpublished USDA document provided more granular post-sequestration details at the program level, consistent with the agency-level operating plan.12 These are the FY2013 amounts presented in Table 3, and are the only post-rescission, post-sequestration amounts published to date for Agriculture appropriations.

The effect of sequestration is summarized in a March 2014 GAO report. The timing of sequestration decisions by OMB, as well as particular USDA and FDA actions are discussed.13

Table 3. Agriculture and Related Agencies Appropriations, by Agency and Program

(budget authority in millions of dollars)

 

FY2008

FY2010

FY2012

FY2013

FY2014

Change from FY2013 to FY2014

Agency or Major Program

P.L. 110-161

P.L. 111-80

P.L. 112-55

P.L. 113-6 post-sequester

Admin. request

House-reported H.R. 2410

Senate-reported S. 1244

Enacted P.L. 113-76

$

%

SUMMARY by TITLE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I: Agricultural Programs

25,619.9

30,191.6

24,970.2

27,938.8

30,075.7

29,580.3

29,962.5

29,938.1

+1,999.3

+7.2%

Mandatory

18,987.0

22,855.4

18,293.5

21,582.7

23,149.1

23,149.1

23,149.1

23,149.1

+1,566.4

+7.3%

Discretionary

6,632.9

7,336.1

6,676.7

6,356.2

6,926.6

6,431.3

6,813.4

6,789.0

+432.9

+6.8%

II: Conservation Programs

937.5

1,009.4

844.0

781.2

808.8

823.0

819.3

825.8

+44.6

+5.7%

III: Rural Development

2,334.0

2,978.8

2,405.2

2,279.9

2,291.5

2,369.1

2,474.8

2,569.7

+289.8

+12.7%

IV: Domestic Food Programs

60,056.8

82,782.6

105,553.0

104,098.0

106,437.6

103,845.8

106,359.9

108,585.6

+4,487.6

+4.3%

Mandatory

53,683.2

75,128.0

98,551.9

97,171.9

98,835.3

96,784.3

98,835.3

101,432.9

+4,261.0

+4.4%

Discretionary

6,373.6

7,654.6

7,001.1

6,926.1

7,602.2

7,061.5

7,524.5

7,152.7

+226.6

+3.3%

V: Foreign Assistance

1,476.5

2,089.5

1,835.7

1,705.9

373.3

1,512.2

1,839.4

1,838.5

+132.6

+7.8%

VI: Related Agencies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food and Drug Administration

1,716.8

2,357.1

2,505.8

2,386.0

2,557.7

2,485.4

2,562.9

2,560.7

+174.7

+7.3%

Commodity Futures Trading Comm.a

111.3

168.8

205.3

 

315.0

194.6

 

215.0

+215.0

+10.8%

Note: CFTC in Financial Services Subcomm.

 

 

 

194.0

 

 

315.0

 

 

 

VII: General Provisions

-425.1

-238.3

-1,273.6

-785.9

-721.0

-1,235.0

-927.4

-880.4

-94.6

+12.0%

Other scorekeeping adjustmentsb

-42.6

-52.2

-72.0

-129.0

-188.4

-192.0

-191.0

-191.0

-62.0

+48.1%

Subtract disaster declaration (in this bill)

-1,022.0

0.0

-367.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Agriculture Appropriations (as in bill, regardless of CFTC jurisdiction)

Mandatory

72,670.2

97,983.4

116,845.4

118,754.6

121,984.4

119,933.4

121,984.4

124,582.0

+5,827.4

+4.9%

Discretionary

18,092.8

23,303.8

19,761.3

19,520.5

19,965.8

19,450.0

20,916.0

20,880.0

+1,359.5

+7.0%

Total

90,763.0

121,287.2

136,606.7

138,275.0

141,950.2

139,383.4

142,900.4

145,462.0

+7,187.0

+5.2%

Adjusted to include CFTC in all columns (House basis)

Discretionary

18,092.8

23,303.8

19,761.3

19,714.5

19,965.8

19,450.0

21,231.0

20,880.0

+1,165.5

+5.9%

Total

90,763.0

121,287.2

136,606.7

138,469.0

141,950.2

139,383.4

143,215.4

145,462.0

+6,993.0

+5.1%

Adjusted to exclude CFTC from all columns (Senate basis)

Discretionary

17,981.5

23,135.0

19,556.0

19,520.5

19,650.8

19,255.4

20,916.0

20,665.0

+1,144.5

+5.9%

Total

90,651.8

121,118.4

136,401.4

138,275.0

141,635.2

139,188.9

142,900.4

145,247.0

+6,972.0

+5.0%

SUMMARY by AGENCIES or PROGRAMS

Title I: Agricultural Programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Department Administration

437.1

626.8

507.6

531.3

525.5

346.4

529.8

526.1

-5.2

-1.0%

Research, Education and Economics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agricultural Research Service

1,167.8

1,250.5

1,094.6

1,016.9

1,279.0

1,074.2

1,123.2

1,122.5

+105.5

+10.4%

National Institute of Food & Agriculture

1,183.8

1,343.2

1,202.3

1,142.0

1,288.3

1,208.9

1,277.5

1,277.1

+135.0

+11.8%

National Agricultural Statistics Service

162.2

161.8

158.6

166.6

159.6

154.8

162.1

161.2

-5.4

-3.3%

Economic Research Service

77.4

82.5

77.7

71.4

78.5

75.5

78.5

78.1

+6.7

+9.3%

Under Sec., Research, Education, Econ.

0.6

0.9

0.8

0.8

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.9

+0.1

+7.7%

Marketing and Regulatory Programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Animal & Plant Health Inspection Serv.

867.6

909.7

819.7

761.4

800.8

803.5

828.9

824.9

+63.4

+8.3%

Agric. Marketing Service

114.7

92.5

83.4

75.7

84.2

78.2

84.2

81.3

+5.6

+7.4%

Section 32 (permanent+transfers)

1,169.0

1,320.1

1,080.0

1,049.6

1,107.0

1,107.0

1,107.0

1,107.0

+57.4

+5.5%

Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards

38.5

42.0

37.8

37.3

40.5

39.2

40.5

40.3

+3.0

+8.0%

Under Sec., Marketing and Regulatory

0.7

0.9

0.8

0.8

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.9

+0.1

+7.7%

Food Safety

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Safety & Inspection Service

930.1

1,018.5

1,004.4

977.3

1,008.5

998.8

1,020.5

1,010.7

+33.4

+3.4%

Under Secretary, Food Safety

0.6

0.8

0.8

0.8

0.8

0.8

0.8

0.8

+0.1

+7.7%

Farm and Commodity Programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farm Service Agency: Salaries and Exp.c

1,435.2

1,574.9

1,496.6

1,404.1

1,491.4

1,483.0

1,491.4

1,492.6

+88.5

+6.3%

FSA Farm Loan Program: Subsidy Level

148.6

140.6

108.2

90.5

91.6

85.2

91.6

90.0

-0.4

-0.5%

FSA Farm Loans: Loan Authorityd

3,427.6

5,083.9

4,787.1

4,575.7

5,555.3

5,381.3

5,595.3

5,527.3

+951.6

+20.8%

Mediation; source water; dairy indem.e

8.2

10.3

7.7

9.3

4.0

9.1

10.5

9.6

+0.2

+2.5%

Risk Management Agency Salaries & Exp.

76.1

80.3

74.9

69.1

71.5

71.5

71.5

71.5

+2.4

+3.5%

Federal Crop Insurance Corporationf

4,818.1

6,455.3

3,142.4

9,514.5

9,502.9

9,502.9

9,502.9

9,502.9

-11.5

-0.1%

Commodity Credit Corporationf

12,983.0

15,079.2

14,071.0

11,018.5

12,538.9

12,538.9

12,538.9

12,538.9

+1,520.4

+13.8%

Under Secretary, Farm and Foreign Agr.

0.6

0.9

0.8

0.8

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.9

+0.1

+7.7%

Subtotal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mandatory

18,970.2

22,855.4

18,293.5

21,582.7

23,149.1

23,149.1

23,149.1

23,149.1

+1,566.4

+7.3%

Discretionary

6,649.7

7,336.1

6,676.7

6,356.2

6,926.6

6,431.3

6,813.4

6,789.0

+432.9

+6.8%

Subtotal

25,619.9

30,191.6

24,970.2

27,938.8

30,075.7

29,580.3

29,962.5

29,938.1

+1,999.3

+7.2%

Title II: Conservation Programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conservation Operations

834.4

887.6

828.2

766.8

807.9

810.1

818.4

812.9

+46.1

+6.0%

Watershed & Flood Prevention

29.8

30.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watershed Rehabilitation Program

19.9

40.2

15.0

13.6

0.0

12.0

0.0

12.0

-1.6

-11.7%

Resource Conservation & Development

50.7

50.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Forests Reserve

2.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under Secretary, Natural Resources

0.7

0.9

0.8

0.8

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.9

+0.1

+7.7%

Subtotal

937.5

1,009.4

844.0

781.2

808.8

823.0

819.3

825.8

+44.6

+5.7%

Title III: Rural Development

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salaries and Expenses (including transfers)

661.7

715.5

653.9

613.0

661.5

639.9

661.5

657.4

+44.5

+7.3%

Rural Housing Service

881.6

1,424.2

1,090.3

1,031.1

1,132.2

1,144.3

1,184.7

1,279.6

+248.6

+24.1%

RHS Loan Authorityd

6,095.4

13,904.7

26,546.0

27,335.1

26,103.6

27,307.4

26,708.1

27,408.1

+73.0

+0.3%

Rural Business-Cooperative Serviceg

173.2

184.8

109.3

114.2

149.3

96.1

134.1

130.2

+15.9

+14.0%

RBCS Loan Authorityd

1,265.2

1,215.7

869.8

953.7

860.1

806.9

1,047.1

1,022.8

+69.1

+7.2%

Rural Utilities Service

616.9

653.4

551.0

520.8

347.6

487.9

493.6

501.6

-19.3

-3.7%

RUS Loan Authorityd

9,179.5

9,287.2

8,676.9

8,849.4

5,953.4

6,432.1

7,510.7

7,514.5

-1,334.9

-15.1%

Under Secretary, Rural Development

0.6

0.9

0.8

0.8

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.9

+0.1

+7.7%

Subtotal

2,334.0

2,978.8

2,405.2

2,279.9

2,291.5

2,369.1

2,474.8

2,569.7

+289.8

+12.7%

Subtotal, RD Loan Authorityd

16,540.1

24,407.5

36,092.7

37,138.2

32,917.0

34,546.4

35,265.9

35,945.4

-1,192.8

-3.2%

Title IV: Domestic Food Programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Child Nutrition Programs

13,901.5

16,855.8

18,151.2

19,913.2

20,487.2

20,452.2

20,487.2

19,288.0

-625.3

-3.1%

WIC Program

6,020.0

7,252.0

6,618.5

6,522.2

7,141.6

6,654.9

7,070.4

6,715.8

+193.6

+3.0%

SNAP, Food & Nutrition Act Programs

39,782.7

58,278.2

80,401.7

77,285.4

78,389.6

76,332.1

78,383.1

82,169.9

+4,884.5

+6.3%

Commodity Assistance Programs

210.3

248.0

242.3

243.7

271.7

265.9

271.7

269.7

+26.0

+10.7%

Nutrition Programs Administration

141.7

147.8

138.5

132.7

146.6

139.9

146.6

141.3

+8.7

+6.6%

Office of Under Secretary

0.6

0.8

0.8

0.8

0.8

0.8

0.8

0.8

+0.1

+7.7%

Subtotal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mandatory

53,683.2

75,128.0

98,551.9

97,171.9

98,835.3

96,784.3

98,835.3

101,432.9

+4,261.0

+4.4%

Discretionary

6,373.6

7,654.6

7,001.1

6,926.1

7,602.2

7,061.5

7,524.5

7,152.7

+226.6

+3.3%

Subtotal

60,056.8

82,782.6

105,553.0

104,098.0

106,437.6

103,845.8

106,359.9

108,585.6

+4,487.6

+4.3%

Title V: Foreign Assistance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign Agric. Service

158.4

180.4

176.3

163.1

178.8

172.9

178.8

177.9

+14.7

+9.0%

Public Law (P.L.) 480

1,213.5

1,692.8

1,468.5

1,362.0

2.6

1,152.4

1,468.7

1,468.7

+106.8

+7.8%

McGovern-Dole Food for Education

99.3

209.5

184.0

174.5

185.1

180.3

185.1

185.1

+10.6

+6.1%

CCC Export Loan Salaries

5.3

6.8

6.8

6.3

6.7

6.6

6.7

6.7

+0.5

+7.5%

Subtotal

1,476.5

2,089.5

1,835.7

1,705.9

373.3

1,512.2

1,839.4

1,838.5

+132.6

+7.8%

Title VI: Related Agencies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food and Drug Administration

1,716.8

2,357.1

2,505.8

2,386.0

2,557.7

2,485.4

2,562.9

2,560.7

+174.7

+7.3%

Commodity Futures Trading Commissiona

111.3

168.8

205.3

 

315.0

194.6

 

215.0

+20.4

+10.5%

Subtotal

1,828.0

2,525.9

2,711.1

2,386.0

2,872.7

2,680.0

2,562.9

2,775.7

+195.1

+7.6%

Title VII: General Provisions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Limit mandatory farm bill programs

-345.5

-522.0

-1,216.5

-575.0

-619.0

-800.7

-558.0

-592.7

-17.7

+3.1%

Rescissionsg

-721.5

-96.9

-434.1

-343.4

-157.0

-434.3

-376.0

-394.3

-51.0

+14.8%

Other appropriations

641.9

380.6

377.1

132.5

55.0

0.0

6.6

106.6

-25.9

-19.5%

Subtotal

-425.1

-238.3

-1,273.6

-785.9

-721.0

-1,235.0

-927.4

-880.4

-94.6

+12.0%

Source: CRS, compiled from appropriations committee tables in the joint explanatory statements or committee reports for P.L. 113-76, H.R. 2410, S. 1244, P.L. 113-6, P.L. 112-55, P.L. 111-80, and P.L. 110-161. Post-sequestration amounts for FY2013 were obtained from the USDA FY2013 Operating Plan (at http://www.dm.usda.gov/foia/docs/USDA_Operating_Plan.pdf) and USDA Office of Budget and Program Analysis unpublished tables, July 2013. Scorekeeping adjustments are from unpublished CBO tables.

Notes: Amounts are in nominal dollars; budget authority in millions of dollars. Amounts do not include supplemental appropriations.

a. CFTC and bill totals are shown multiple ways to allow consistent comparisons across years because of different subcommittee jurisdictions for Agriculture and Financial Services. After FY2008, CFTC is carried in enacted Agriculture appropriations in even years, always in House markup, and never in Senate markup.

b. "Other scorekeeping adjustments" are not appropriated items (e.g., negative subsidies in loan program accounts) and are not shown in appropriations committee tables, but are part of the official score (accounting) of the bill. Adjustments for disaster designation are made only if disaster amounts were included in the bill's 302(b) allocation, and allow regular appropriations to be compared across years.

c. Includes regular FSA salaries and expenses, plus transfers for farm loan program salaries and expenses and farm loan program administrative expenses. However, amounts transferred from the Foreign Agricultural Service for export loans and P.L. 480 administration are included in the originating account.

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

e. Includes State Mediation Grants; Dairy Indemnity Program (mandatory funding); and Grassroots Source Water Protection Program.

f. Commodity Credit Corporation and Federal Crop Insurance Corporation each receive "such sums as necessary." Estimates are used in the appropriations bill reports and may not reflect actual outlays.

g. Amounts for the Rural Business Cooperative Service in this report are before the rescission from the Cushion of Credit account. This approach allows the total appropriation for RBS to remain positive, unlike in Appropriations committee tables. The rescission is included with other rescissions in the General Provisions section.

Savings Achieved by Limits and Rescissions

The enacted FY2014 Agriculture appropriation contains a total of nearly $1 billion in limitations on mandatory farm bill programs ($593 million) and recessions from other appropriated accounts ($394 million). These reductions occur in Title VII (General Provisions). These provisions in appropriations are used to score budgetary savings that help the bill meet the discretionary budget allocation. By offsetting spending elsewhere in the bill, they help provide relatively more to (or help avoid deeper cuts to) regular discretionary accounts than might otherwise occur.14

The FY2011 and FY2012 appropriations contained relatively more of such rescissions and limitations—$1.9 billion and $1.7 billion, respectively—and the most in recent years.

Changes in Mandatory Program Spending (CHIMPS)

For more than a decade, appropriators have placed limits on mandatory spending authorized in the farm bill (Table 4). These limits are also known as CHIMPS, "changes in mandatory program spending."15 Mandatory programs usually are not part of the appropriations process since formulas and eligibility rules are set in multi-year authorizing laws (such as the 2014 farm bill). Funding usually is assumed to be available based on the statute and without appropriations action.

Appropriators may limit mandatory spending, but they do not change the authorizing law. Rather, limits on mandatory programs come from appropriations language such as: "None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this or any other Act shall be used to pay the salaries and expenses of personnel to carry out section [ ... ] of Public Law [ ... ] in excess of $[ ... ]." Limits usually appear in Title VII, General Provisions, of the Agriculture appropriations bill.

Historically, expenditure decisions are assumed to rest with appropriations committees.16 The division over who should fund certain agriculture programs—appropriators or authorizers—has roots dating to the 1930s. Variable outlays for the farm commodity programs were difficult to budget and resembled entitlements. Mandatory funding—the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC)—was created to remove the unpredictable funding issue from the appropriations process.

The dynamic changed after the 1996 farm bill when mandatory funds were used for programs that usually were discretionary. Appropriators had not funded some programs as much as authorizers had desired, and authorizing committees wrote farm bills using the mandatory funding at their discretion. Tension arose over who should fund certain activities. Some question whether the CCC should be used for programs that are not variable. The programs affected by CHIMPS typically include conservation, rural development, bioenergy, and some smaller nutrition assistance programs. CHIMPS have not affected the farm commodity programs or the primary nutrition assistance programs (such as SNAP).17

The FY2014 appropriation contains $593 million of CHIMPS from five farm bill programs, about the same as FY2013 ($575 million), but less than half of FY2012 ($1.2 billion; Table 4).

Table 4. Changes in Mandatory Program Spending (CHIMPS) to Farm Bill Programs

(dollars in millions)

 

FY2011

FY2012

FY2013

FY2014

Program in 2008 farm bill

P.L. 112-10

P.L. 112-55

P.L. 113-6

Admin. request

House-reported H.R. 2410

Senate-reported S. 1244

Enacted P.L. 113-76

Conservation programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Environmental Quality Incentives Prog.

-350.0

-350.0

-279.0

-272.0

-272.0

-272.0

-272.0

Watershed Rehabilitation Program

-165.0

-165.0

-165.0

-165.0

-153.0

-153.0

-153.0

Wetlands Reserve Program

-119.0

-200.0

 

 

-50.0

 

 

Conservation Stewardship Program

-39.0

-76.5

 

 

 

 

 

Farmland Protection Program

 

-50.0

 

-35.0

-35.0

 

 

Grasslands Reserve Program

 

-30.0

 

 

 

 

 

Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program

 

-35.0

-9.0

-34.0

-34.0

-9.0

 

Voluntary Public Access Program

 

-17.0

 

 

 

 

 

Agricultural Management Assistance

 

-5.0

-5.0

-5.0

-5.0

-5.0

 

Subtotal conservation

-673.0

-928.5

-458.0

-511.0

-549.0

-439.0

-425.0

Other programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Programa

-117.0

-133.0

-117.0

-119.0

-119.0

-119.0

-119.0

SNAP Nutrition Education

 

 

 

 

-51.0

 

 

SNAP employment and trainingb

-15.0

-11.0

 

+11.0

 

 

 

Bioenergy Program Advanced Biofuels

 

-40.0

 

 

-41.0

 

-8.0

Biorefinery Assistance Program

 

 

 

 

-40.7

 

-40.7

Rural Energy for America Program

 

-48.0

 

 

 

 

 

Biomass Crop Assistance Program

-134.0

-28.0

 

 

 

 

 

Crop insurance good performance disc.

-25.0

-25.0

 

 

 

 

 

Microenterpreneur Assistance Prog.

 

-3.0

 

 

 

 

 

Subtotal other

-291.0

-288.0

-117.0

-108.0

-251.7

-119.0

-167.7

Total reduction in farm bill programs

-964.0

-1,216.5

-575.0

-619.0

-800.7

-558.0

-592.7

Source: CRS, compiled from appropriations committee tables in the joint explanatory statements or committee reports for P.L. 113-76, H.R. 2410, S. 1244, P.L. 113-6, P.L. 112-55, and P.L. 112-10, and unpublished CBO tables.

a. Delays funding from July until October of the same calendar year. This effectively allocates the farm bill's authorization by fiscal year rather than school year—with no reduction in overall support—and results in savings being scored by appropriators in the current fiscal year.

b. The 2002 and 2008 farm bills authorized $90 million in mandatory funding for SNAP E&T. However, various laws for FY2006 through FY2014 (with the exception of FY2009) annually rescinded between $10.5 million and $15 million. Reductions in FY2013 were achieved in a law extending the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 112-240), not in an appropriation. The FY2014 appropriation continued that reduced level, though the Administration requested more. The enacted 2014 farm bill (P.L. 113-79) restored available E&T funding to $90 million.

Rescissions

Rescissions are a method of permanently cancelling the availability of funds that were provided by a previous appropriations law, and in doing so achieving or scoring budgetary savings. Often rescissions relate to the unobligated balances of funds still available for a specific purpose that were appropriated a year or more ago (e.g., buildings and facilities funding that remains available until expended for specific projects, or disaster response funds for losses due to a specifically-named hurricane).

Rescissions usually are one-time savings from cancelling a budget authority that may have been unlikely to incur more outlays. Such a rescission, though, nonetheless prevents an unobligated budget authority from being reallocated or repurposed by future appropriations. Other rescissions are recurring amounts that result from funding becoming available from offsetting receipts (e.g., customs receipts, or repayments from lending programs). Such rescissions allow appropriators to limit authorized activities and effectively reallocate budgetary resources to other uses.18

Rescissions in the FY2014 appropriation total $394 million (Table 5). This is $51 million more than in FY2013, about the same as in FY2012, but less than half of the rescission level in FY2011.19

Table 5. Rescissions from (Prior-Year) Budget Authority

(dollars in millions)

 

FY2011

FY2012

FY2013

FY2014

Rescissions

P.L. 112-10

P.L. 112-55

P.L. 113-6

Admin. request

House-reported H.R. 2410

Senate-reported S. 1244

Enacted P.L. 113-76

Cushion of Credit (Rural Dev.)a

-207.0

-155.0

-180.0

-155.0

-180.0

-180.0

-172.0

Section 32 (rescission)

 

-150.0

-110.0

0.0

-206.0

-166.0

-189.0

Agriculture buildings and facilities

-45.0

 

 

 

-30.0

-30.0

-30.0

Resource Conservation & Dev.

 

 

 

-2.0

-2.0

 

-2.0

Rural Housing Service

 

 

 

 

-1.3

 

-1.3

Value-added grants

 

 

 

 

-15.0

 

 

Repowering Assistance

 

 

-28.0

 

 

 

 

Broadband loan balances

-39.0

 

-25.3

 

 

 

 

Broadband grants

-25.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARS buildings and facilities

-229.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

Export credit

-331.0

-20.2

 

 

 

 

 

NRCS expired accounts

-13.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

APHIS

-10.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Computing Environment

-3.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outreach for socially disadvantaged

-2.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

NIFA buildings and facilities

-1.0

-2.5

 

 

 

 

 

Rural community advancement

-1.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agricultural Marketing Service

-0.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

APHIS buildings and facilities

-0.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forestry incentives

 

-6.0

 

 

 

 

 

Great Plains Conservation

 

-0.5

 

 

 

 

 

Trade Adjustment Assistance

 

-90.0

 

 

 

 

 

Ocean freight

 

-3.2

 

 

 

 

 

Office of Advocacy and Outreach

 

-4.0

 

 

 

 

 

P.L. 480 Title I

 

-2.3

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign currency program

 

-0.3

 

 

 

 

 

Total

-910.0

-434.1

-343.4

-157.0

-434.3

-376.0

-394.3

Source: CRS, compiled from appropriations committee tables in the joint explanatory statements or committee reports for P.L. 113-76, H.R. 2410, S. 1244, P.L. 113-6, P.L. 112-55, and P.L. 112-10.

a. Included here for consistency with other rescissions, rather than with agency as in Appropriations tables.

Historical Trends

This section offers historical perspective on type of funding (mandatory or discretionary), and another overall division by purpose (nutrition vs. other). It also shows inflation-adjusted amounts, and relationships to the size of the economy (GDP) and the total federal budget. The enacted FY2014 appropriation in P.L. 113-76 is the basis for comparison throughout most of this section.

Discretionary Agriculture appropriations peaked in FY2010, although mandatory nutrition spending has continued to rise. In inflation-adjusted terms, the rise in mandatory spending and the total appropriation since FY2012 is relatively small. See Figure 2 for the mandatory and discretionary breakdown; Table 6 contains the nominal data, and Table 7 contains the inflation-adjusted data. See Table 8 for the compounded annualized percentage changes over time periods.

  • Over the past 10 years (since FY2004), total Agriculture appropriations have grown at an average annualized rate (compounded annual rate) of +5.3% per year (+3.0% on an inflation-adjusted basis).
  • The mandatory spending portion of this total shows a +6.0% average annual increase over the past 10 years (+3.7% on an inflation-adjusted basis).
  • The discretionary portion has an average annual 10-year increase of +2.2% (constant on an inflation-adjusted basis). In FY2004, 19% of the total agriculture appropriation was for discretionary; in FY2014, that ratio had decreased to 14% since mandatory spending rose faster than discretionary spending.

Figure 2. Total Agriculture Appropriations: Mandatory and Discretionary

Source: CRS. Fiscal year budget authority. Inflation-adjusted amounts are based on the GDP price deflator.

Notes: Includes only regular annual appropriations for USDA (except the Forest Service), FDA, and CFTC (regardless of jurisdiction).

Another way to divide the total agriculture appropriation is domestic nutrition compared to everything else (Figure 3). Domestic nutrition appropriations include primarily the child nutrition programs (school lunch and related programs), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—both of which are mandatory—and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which is discretionary. The "rest of the bill" includes other USDA programs (except the Forest Service), FDA and CFTC.

  • The portion of the total for domestic nutrition programs has risen at an 8.7% average annual rate over 10 years (+6.3% on an inflation-adjusted basis). In FY2004, 55% of the total agriculture appropriation was for domestic nutrition. In FY2014, 75% of the total is for domestic nutrition.
  • Most of the domestic nutrition program budget is mandatory spending, primarily in SNAP and the child nutrition programs. The mandatory spending portion rose at a +9.1% average annual rate over 10 years (+6.8% on an inflation-adjusted basis). By comparison, mandatory spending within the rest of the rest of the bill decreased at a -1.7% average annual rate over 10 years (-3.8% on an inflation-adjusted basis).
  • The portion of the total for the rest of the bill (non-nutrition rest) has decreased at a -0.6% average annual rate over 10 years (-2.8% per year on an inflation-adjusted basis).

Figure 3. Total Agriculture Appropriations: Domestic Nutrition and Rest of Bill

Source: CRS. Fiscal year budget authority. Inflation-adjusted amounts are based on the GDP price deflator.

Notes: The largest domestic nutrition programs are the child nutrition programs, SNAP, and WIC. The "rest of bill" includes USDA (except the Forest Service), FDA and CFTC.

Within the discretionary subtotal of Figure 2, a similar domestic nutrition vs. rest of the bill comparison can be made as was done for the total appropriation (see Figure 4).

  • As stated before, total discretionary Agriculture appropriations grew at +2.2% per year over the past 10 years, and were nearly constant on an inflation-adjusted level. This component of the appropriation is arguably where appropriators have the most control.
  • Over the five-year period since FY2009, the annual change is +0.3% per year, or -1.5% per year on an inflation-adjusted basis.
  • The domestic nutrition portion of this discretionary subtotal (primarily WIC, commodity assistance programs, and nutrition programs administration) shows a +3.9% average annual increase over 10 years (+1.6% per year on an inflation-adjusted basis).
  • Over the five-year period, the annual change is -0.2% per year, or -2.0% per year on an inflation-adjusted basis.
  • The discretionary portion for rest of the bill has an average annual 10-year increase +1.4% (-0.8% per year on an inflation-adjusted basis).
  • Over the five-year period, the annual change is +0.5% per year, or -1.2% per year on an inflation-adjusted basis.

Figure 4. Discretionary Agriculture Appropriations

Source: CRS. Fiscal year budget authority. Inflation-adjusted amounts are based on the GDP price deflator.

Notes: Includes only regular annual appropriations for USDA (except the Forest Service), FDA, and CFTC (regardless of jurisdiction). The label "Domestic nutrition" includes WIC, commodity assistance programs, and nutrition programs administration.

Table 6. Trends in Nominal Agriculture Appropriations

(fiscal year budget authority in billions of dollars, except as noted)

 

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

Discretionary total

13.29

13.31

13.04

13.75

13.69

13.95

14.97

16.28

17.91

16.84

Domestic nutrition

3.93

4.22

4.22

4.31

4.31

4.42

4.46

4.89

5.00

4.90

Rest of bill

9.36

9.09

8.82

9.44

9.39

9.53

10.51

11.39

12.91

11.94

Mandatory total

54.61

49.78

40.08

35.80

41.00

61.95

59.77

56.91

56.70

69.75

Domestic nutrition

36.30

35.54

36.27

32.91

30.51

30.63

29.66

33.06

36.89

42.36

Rest of bill

18.31

14.23

3.81

2.89

10.48

31.33

30.12

23.86

19.82

27.38

Total bill

67.90

63.09

53.12

49.55

54.69

75.90

74.74

73.19

74.61

86.59

Domestic nutrition

40.23

39.76

40.49

37.22

34.82

35.04

34.12

37.95

41.89

47.26

Rest of bill

27.67

23.33

12.63

12.33

19.87

40.85

40.63

35.24

32.72

39.32

Percentages of Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Mandatory

80%

79%

75%

72%

75%

82%

80%

78%

76%

81%

2. Discretionary

20%

21%

25%

28%

25%

18%

20%

22%

24%

19%

1. Domestic nutrition

59%

63%

76%

75%

64%

46%

46%

52%

56%

55%

2. Rest of bill

41%

37%

24%

25%

36%

54%

54%

48%

44%

45%

 

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Discretionary total

16.83

16.78

17.81

18.09

20.60

23.30

20.13

19.76

19.72

20.88

Domestic nutrition

5.55

5.53

5.52

6.37

7.23

7.65

7.13

7.00

6.93

7.15

Rest of bill

11.28

11.25

12.29

11.72

13.37

15.65

13.00

12.76

12.79

13.73

Mandatory total

68.29

83.07

79.80

72.67

87.80

97.98

105.13

116.85

118.75

124.58

Domestic nutrition

46.94

53.37

51.51

53.68

68.92

75.13

82.53

98.55

97.17

101.43

Rest of bill

21.36

29.70

28.29

18.99

18.88

22.86

22.60

18.29

21.58

23.15

Total bill

85.13

99.85

97.61

90.76

108.40

121.29

125.26

136.61

138.47

145.46

Domestic nutrition

52.49

58.89

57.03

60.06

76.16

82.78

89.66

105.55

104.10

108.59

Rest of bill

32.64

40.95

40.58

30.71

32.24

38.50

35.61

31.05

34.37

36.88

Percentages of Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Mandatory

80%

83%

82%

80%

81%

81%

84%

86%

86%

86%

2. Discretionary

20%

17%

18%

20%

19%

19%

16%

14%

14%

14%

1. Domestic nutrition

62%

59%

58%

66%

70%

68%

72%

77%

75%

75%

2. Rest of bill

38%

41%

42%

34%

30%

32%

28%

23%

25%

25%

Source: CRS. Regular appropriations only; all years include Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

a. The largest domestic nutrition programs are the child nutrition programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps)—both of which are mandatory—and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which is discretionary.

b. "Rest of bill" includes the non-nutrition remainder of USDA (except the Forest Service), FDA, and CFTC. Within that group, mandatory programs include the farm commodity programs, crop insurance, and some conservation and foreign aid/trade programs.

Table 7. Trends in Real Agriculture Appropriations

(fiscal year budget authority in billions of dollars, except as noted)

 

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

GDP price indexa

81.84

83.42

84.95

86.03

87.17

88.97

91.06

92.57

94.46

96.85

Inflation-adjusted 2014 dollars (real dollars)

Discretionary total

19.58

19.23

18.51

19.27

18.93

18.89

19.82

21.19

22.85

20.96

Domestic nutrition

5.79

6.10

5.99

6.04

5.95

5.99

5.90

6.37

6.38

6.10

Rest of bill

13.79

13.14

12.52

13.22

12.98

12.91

13.91

14.83

16.47

14.86

Mandatory total

80.43

71.93

56.87

50.16

56.69

83.94

79.12

74.11

72.36

86.81

Domestic nutrition

53.47

51.36

51.47

46.11

42.19

41.49

39.26

43.04

47.07

52.73

Rest of bill

26.97

20.57

5.40

4.05

14.50

42.44

39.86

31.06

25.29

34.08

Total bill

100.01

91.16

75.37

69.43

75.62

102.83

98.94

95.30

95.21

107.76

Domestic nutrition

59.25

57.46

57.45

52.15

48.15

47.48

45.16

49.41

53.46

58.82

Rest of bill

40.76

33.70

17.92

17.27

27.48

55.35

53.78

45.89

41.76

48.94

 

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

GDP price indexa

100.00

103.40

106.46

108.93

110.33

111.45

113.79

115.88

118.30

120.54

Inflation-adjusted 2014 dollars (real dollars)

Discretionary total

20.29

19.56

20.17

20.02

22.51

25.20

21.33

20.56

20.09

20.88

Domestic nutrition

6.69

6.44

6.25

7.05

7.90

8.28

7.55

7.28

7.06

7.15

Rest of bill

13.60

13.12

13.91

12.97

14.60

16.93

13.78

13.27

13.03

13.73

Mandatory total

82.32

96.84

90.35

80.42

95.92

105.98

111.37

121.54

121.00

124.58

Domestic nutrition

56.58

62.21

58.32

59.40

75.30

81.26

87.42

102.52

99.01

101.43

Rest of bill

25.74

34.62

32.04

21.01

20.62

24.72

23.95

19.03

21.99

23.15

Total bill

102.61

116.40

110.52

100.44

118.43

131.18

132.70

142.10

141.09

145.46

Domestic nutrition

63.27

68.66

64.57

66.46

83.20

89.53

94.97

109.80

106.07

108.59

Rest of bill

39.34

47.74

45.95

33.98

35.23

41.65

37.72

32.30

35.02

36.88

Source: CRS. Regular appropriations only; all years include Commodity Futures Trading Commission. See footnotes in Table 6 for definitions of "domestic nutrition" and "rest of bill."

a. OMB, Budget of the United States Government, "Historical Tables," Table 10.1, at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals.

Table 8. Percentage Changes in Agriculture Appropriations

 

Average annual (compounded) rate of change from years in the past to FY2014

 

Actual Change (Nominal)

Inflation-Adjusted (Real) Change (2014 $)

 

FY2013 (1 yr.)

FY2009 (5 yrs.)

FY2004 (10 yrs.)

FY1999 (15 yrs.)

FY2013 (1 yr.)

FY2009 (5 yrs.)

FY2004 (10 yrs.)

FY1999 (15 yrs.)

Discretionary total

+5.9%

+0.3%

+2.2%

+2.9%

+3.9%

-1.5%

-0.0%

+0.7%

Domestic nutrition

+3.3%

-0.2%

+3.9%

+3.4%

+1.4%

-2.0%

+1.6%

+1.2%

Rest of bill

+7.3%

+0.5%

+1.4%

+2.6%

+5.3%

-1.2%

-0.8%

+0.4%

Mandatory total

+4.9%

+7.2%

+6.0%

+7.7%

+3.0%

+5.4%

+3.7%

+5.4%

Domestic nutrition

+4.4%

+8.0%

+9.1%

+8.3%

+2.4%

+6.1%

+6.8%

+6.0%

Rest of bill

+7.3%

+4.2%

-1.7%

+5.4%

+5.3%

+2.3%

-3.8%

+3.2%

Total bill

+5.0%

+6.1%

+5.3%

+6.7%

+3.1%

+4.2%

+3.0%

+4.5%

Domestic nutrition

+4.3%

+7.4%

+8.7%

+7.9%

+2.4%

+5.5%

+6.3%

+5.6%

Rest of bill

+7.3%

+2.7%

-0.6%

+4.2%

+5.3%

+0.9%

-2.8%

+2.0%

Source: CRS calculations of the compounded annual rate of change between FY2014 and the stated prior year. Regular appropriations only; all years include Commodity Futures Trading Commission. See footnotes in Table 6 for definitions of "domestic nutrition" and "rest of bill."

Comparisons to the Federal Budget, GDP, and Population

Relative to the entire federal budget, the Agriculture bill's share has declined from over 4% of the total federal budget in FY1995 and FY2000 to 2.7% in FY2009, before rising again to nearly that level since the recession, to 3.8% in FY2014 (Figure 5, Table 9). Within that total, the share for nutrition programs had declined from 2.6% in FY1995 to 1.8% in FY2008, but the recent recession has caused that share to rise to about 2.9% in FY2014. The share for the rest of the bill has declined from 2.1% in FY2001 to about 1.0% in FY2014.

Those shares of the federal budget also can be subdivided into mandatory and discretionary spending (Figure 6). The mandatory share for nutrition is presently about 2.7% (generally rising, but recently ameliorating), while the discretionary share for nutrition is fairly steady 0.2%. The mandatory share for the rest of the bill (primarily crop insurance, commodity program subsidies, and conservation) is about 0.6%, while the discretionary share for the rest of the bill is about 0.4% (generally declining).

The 0.6% share of the federal budget above for mandatory spending on crop insurance, farm commodity subsidies, and conservation is a good proxy for farm bill spending on agricultural (non-nutrition) programs (Figure 6). It has been variable and generally declining since 2000 (consistent with farm commodity spending), though since 2009 steadier to slightly rising (consistent with steady to declining farm commodity spending but increasing crop insurance and mandatory conservation spending).

Figure 5. Agriculture Appropriations as Percentages of Total Federal Budget

Source: CRS.

Figure 6. More Components as Percentages of Total Federal Budget

Source: CRS.

As a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP),20 Agriculture appropriations had been fairly steady at under 0.75% of GDP from FY2000-FY2009, but have risen to about 0.86% of GDP in FY2014 (Figure 7, Table 9) due to increases in nutrition program demand. Nutrition programs have been rising as a percentage of GDP since FY2000 (0.33% in FY2001 to 0.64% in FY2014), while non-nutrition agricultural programs have declined (0.42% in FY2000 to 0.22% in FY2014).

On a per capita basis, inflation-adjusted total Agriculture appropriations have risen slightly over the past 10 to 15 years from about $250 per capita in 1998 (FY2014 dollars) to about $450 per capita in FY2014 (Figure 8). Nutrition programs have risen more steadily on a per capita basis from about $160 per capita in FY2001 to nearly $350 per capita in FY2014. Non-nutrition "other" agricultural programs have been more steady or declining, falling from nearly $200 per capita in 2000 to about $115 per capita in FY2014.

Figure 7. Agriculture Appropriations as Percentages of GDP

Source: CRS.

Figure 8. Agriculture Appropriations per Capita of U.S. Population

Source: CRS.

Table 9. Trends in Agriculture Appropriations Measured Against Benchmarks

(fiscal year)

 

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

Federal Budget ($ billions)

1,540

1,581

1,643

1,692

1,777

1,825

1,959

2,090

2,266

2,408

GDP ($ billions)

7,341

7,718

8,212

8,663

9,208

9,821

10,225

10,544

10,980

11,676

Population (million)

266.6

269.7

272.9

276.1

279.3

282.4

285.3

288.0

290.7

293.3

Pct. of Federal Budget

4.41%

3.99%

3.23%

2.93%

3.08%

4.16%

3.82%

3.50%

3.29%

3.60%

Domestic nutrition

2.61%

2.52%

2.46%

2.20%

1.96%

1.92%

1.74%

1.82%

1.85%

1.96%

Mandatory

2.36%

2.25%

2.21%

1.94%

1.72%

1.68%

1.51%

1.58%

1.63%

1.76%

Discretionary

0.26%

0.27%

0.26%

0.25%

0.24%

0.24%

0.23%

0.23%

0.22%

0.20%

Rest of bill

1.80%

1.48%

0.77%

0.73%

1.12%

2.24%

2.07%

1.69%

1.44%

1.63%

Mandatory

1.19%

0.90%

0.23%

0.17%

0.59%

1.72%

1.54%

1.14%

0.87%

1.14%

Discretionary

0.61%

0.58%

0.54%

0.56%

0.53%

0.52%

0.54%

0.54%

0.57%

0.50%

Pct. of GDP

0.92%

0.82%

0.65%

0.57%

0.59%

0.77%

0.73%

0.69%

0.68%

0.74%

Domestic nutrition

0.55%

0.52%

0.49%

0.43%

0.38%

0.36%

0.33%

0.36%

0.38%

0.40%

Rest of bill

0.38%

0.30%

0.15%

0.14%

0.22%

0.42%

0.40%

0.33%

0.30%

0.34%

Per capita (2014 dollars)

375

338

276

251

271

364

347

331

328

367

Domestic nutrition

222

213

211

189

172

168

158

172

184

201

Rest of bill

153

125

66

63

98

196

189

159

144

167

 

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

U.S. budget authority ($ billions)

2,583

2,780

2,863

3,326

4,077

3,485

3,510

3,576

3,767

3,796

GDP ($ billions)

12,429

13,207

13,861

14,334

13,961

14,348

14,929

15,547

16,203

17,011

Population (million)

296.0

298.8

301.7

304.5

307.2

309.3

311.6

313.9

316.1

318.9

Pct. of Federal Budget

3.30%

3.59%

3.41%

2.73%

2.66%

3.48%

3.57%

3.82%

3.68%

3.83%

Domestic nutrition

2.03%

2.12%

1.99%

1.81%

1.87%

2.38%

2.55%

2.95%

2.76%

2.86%

Mandatory

1.82%

1.92%

1.80%

1.61%

1.69%

2.16%

2.35%

2.76%

2.58%

2.67%

Discretionary

0.21%

0.20%

0.19%

0.19%

0.18%

0.22%

0.20%

0.20%

0.18%

0.19%

Rest of bill

1.26%

1.47%

1.42%

0.92%

0.79%

1.10%

1.01%

0.87%

0.91%

0.97%

Mandatory

0.83%

1.07%

0.99%

0.57%

0.46%

0.66%

0.64%

0.51%

0.57%

0.61%

Discretionary

0.44%

0.40%

0.43%

0.35%

0.33%

0.45%

0.37%

0.36%

0.34%

0.36%

Pct. of GDP

0.68%

0.76%

0.70%

0.63%

0.78%

0.85%

0.84%

0.88%

0.85%

0.86%

Domestic nutrition

0.42%

0.45%

0.41%

0.42%

0.55%

0.58%

0.60%

0.68%

0.64%

0.64%

Rest of bill

0.26%

0.31%

0.29%

0.21%

0.23%

0.27%

0.24%

0.20%

0.21%

0.22%

Per capita (2014 dollars)

347

390

366

330

386

424

426

453

446

456

Domestic nutrition

214

230

214

218

271

289

305

350

336

341

Rest of bill

133

160

152

112

115

135

121

103

111

116

Source: CRS. Federal budget and GDP from OMB, Budget of the United States, "Historical Tables," Table 5.1 (total budget authority), and Table 10.1, respectively. Populations from Census Bureau Population Projections,and Statistical Abstract of the United States. See Table 6 for definitions of "domestic nutrition" and "rest of bill."


USDA Agencies and Programs

The Agriculture and Related Agencies appropriations bill covers all of USDA except for the Forest Service. This amounts to nearly 95% of USDA's total appropriation. The Forest Service is funded through the Interior appropriations bill.21 The order of the following sections reflects the order that the agencies are listed in the Agriculture appropriations bill (except for the portion of FDA appropriations for food safety, which is discussed in a comprehensive section on food safety). See Table 3 and tables in some of the following sections for more details on the amounts for specific agencies.

Departmental Administration22

The Agriculture appropriations bill has several accounts that provide for the general administration of the USDA, ranging from the immediate Office of the Secretary, to the Office of Inspector General, to facilities rental payments. The FY2014 appropriation for departmental administration is $526 million, which is $5 million (-1.0%) less than the post-sequestration amount for FY2013. In general, however, most accounts in departmental administration increased by roughly 7% from FY2013 (post-sequestration) to FY2014 (Table 10).

The primary account causing the overall decline is for buildings and facilities rental and maintenance payments (-$19 million, -7.7%).23 This decrease is partially offset by increases for the Office of Inspector General (+$7.6 million, +9.2%), Chief Information Officer (+$3.4 million, +8.3%), and the Office of the Chief Economist (+$1.8 million, +11.8%).

The House Appropriations Committee had proposed to move buildings and facilities rental payments into individual agency budgets, but the Senate bill and the final agreement did not follow this plan.

Appropriators noted that during FY2013, the department did not meet several reporting expectations to inform Congress about activities, including computer upgrades among others.

Table 10. USDA Departmental Administration Appropriations

(budget authority in millions of dollars)

 

FY2008

FY2010

FY2012

FY2013

FY2014

Change from FY2013 to FY2014

Administrative Office

P.L. 110-161

P.L. 111-80

P.L. 112-55

P.L. 113-6 post-sequester

Admin. request

House-reported H.R. 2410

Senate-reported S. 1244

Enacted P.L. 113-76

$

%

Office of the Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Office of the Secretary

5.06

5.29

4.55

4.69

5.09

4.55

5.09

5.05

+0.36

+7.7%

Office of Tribal Relations

 

1.00

0.45

0.46

0.50

0.50

0.50

0.50

+0.04

+7.8%

Office of Homeland Security

0.92

1.86

1.32

1.39

1.51

1.30

1.51

1.50

+0.11

+7.7%

Advocacy and Outreach

 

1.70

1.21

1.32

1.22

1.19

1.22

1.21

-0.11

-8.4%

Assistant Secretary for Admin.

0.67

0.81

0.76

0.75

0.81

0.82

0.81

0.80

+0.06

+7.8%

Department Administration

22.98

41.32

24.17

22.50

22.99

20.76

22.99

22.79

+0.28

+1.3%

Asst. Sec. Congressional Relations

3.77

3.97

3.58

3.59

3.90

3.50

3.90

3.87

+0.28

+7.7%

Office of Communications

9.27

9.72

8.07

8.36

8.14

7.90

8.14

8.07

-0.30

-3.5%

Subtotal, Office of the Secretary

42.68

65.66

44.10

43.06

44.15

40.52

44.15

43.78

+0.72

+1.7%

Executive Operations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Office of Chief Economist

10.41

13.03

11.18

15.01

12.85

15.25

16.85

16.78

+1.77

+11.8%

National Appeals Division

14.37

15.25

12.84

13.19

12.94

12.58

12.94

12.84

-0.35

-2.7%

Office of Budget, Program Analysis

8.21

9.44

8.95

8.35

11.13

8.77

9.13

9.06

+0.71

+8.5%

Subtotal, Executive Operations

32.99

37.72

32.96

36.56

36.92

36.60

38.92

38.68

+2.12

+5.8%

Other Administration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chief Information Officer

16.20

61.58

44.03

40.65

44.16

42.93

44.16

44.03

+3.38

+8.3%

Chief Financial Officer

5.81

6.57

5.65

5.77

6.24

6.09

6.24

6.21

+0.45

+7.7%

Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

0.85

0.90

0.85

0.83

0.90

0.87

0.90

0.89

+0.06

+7.7%

Office of Civil Rights

20.35

23.92

21.00

21.02

21.55

20.54

21.55

21.40

+0.38

+1.8%

Buildings, facilities, and rental payments

194.88

293.09

230.42

252.40

233.10

64.66

233.10

233.00

-19.40

-7.7%

Hazardous materials management

4.85

5.13

3.59

3.70

3.60

3.52

3.60

3.59

-0.11

-3.0%

Office of Inspector General

79.49

88.73

85.62

82.30

89.90

86.78

89.90

89.90

+7.60

+9.2%

General Counsel

38.95

43.55

39.35

41.87

45.01

40.56

47.30

41.20

-0.67

-1.6%

Office of Ethics

 

 

 

3.14

0.00

3.34

0.00

3.44

+0.30

+9.5%

Subtotal, Other Administration

361.38

523.46

430.50

451.68

444.46

269.28

446.75

443.67

-8.01

-1.8%

Total, Departmental Admin.

437.05

626.84

507.57

531.30

525.53

346.39

529.82

526.13

-5.17

-1.0%

Source: CRS, compiled from appropriations committee tables in the joint explanatory statements or committee reports for P.L. 113-76, H.R. 2410, S. 1244, P.L. 113-6, P.L. 112-55, P.L. 111-80, and P.L. 110-161. Post-sequestration amounts for FY2013 were obtained from the USDA FY2013 Operating Plan (at http://www.dm.usda.gov/foia/docs/USDA_Operating_Plan.pdf) and USDA Office of Budget and Program Analysis unpublished tables, July 2013.

Agricultural Research, Education, and Extension24

Four agencies carry out USDA's research, education, and economics (REE) mission:

  • The Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA's intramural science agency, conducts long-term, high-risk, basic and applied research on food and agriculture issues of national and regional importance.
  • The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) distributes federal funds to land grant colleges of agriculture to provide partial support for state-level research, education, and extension.
  • The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) collects and publishes current national, state, and county agricultural statistics. NASS also is responsible for administration of the Census of Agriculture, which occurs every five years and provides comprehensive data on the U.S. agricultural economy.
  • The Economic Research Service (ERS) provides economic analysis of issues regarding public and private interests in agriculture, natural resources, food, and rural America.

P.L. 113-76 provides $2.639 billion to the USDA REE mission area for FY2014, which is $242 million (+10%) more than the FY2013 post-sequestration amount (Table 9). Within this total, ARS received a $106 million increase (+10%), ERS received a $7 million increase (+9%), and NIFA increased $135 million (+12%). NASS received about $5 million less (-3%) for FY2014 relative to FY2013 because of fewer activities for the agricultural census. The House-reported bill would have provided the REE mission area with $126 million less than the enacted amount, while the Senate-reported bill would have provided $2.5 million more—both less than the Administration's request. After FY2010, none of the annual appropriations have included any earmarks or congressionally designated spending items for REE-related activities.

The increases in the FY2014 funding levels for REE activities come after three years of reductions. Appropriations to the REE mission area declined nearly 16% from FY2010 to FY2013. ARS appropriations declined nearly 19% and NIFA by 15% from FY2010 to FY2013.

The 10% increase for the mission area from FY2013 to FY2014 restores some but not all of those reductions. When adjusted for inflation, the increase in FY2014 returns the real (inflation-adjusted) appropriation to FY2012 levels, yet still 8% below the real level in FY2008 (Table 9). Thus, agricultural research stakeholders have expressed concern for funding over the long term.

Agricultural Research Service

The enacted FY2014 appropriation provides $1.122 billion for USDA's in-house science agency, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), which is $106 million more (+10%) than the post-sequestration amount for FY2013. Similar to recent years, the amount is allocated entirely to salaries and expenses and does not include any resources for ARS buildings and facilities.

For FY2014, the Administration had requested $1.279 billion. The House-reported agricultural appropriations bill would have provided $1.074 billion for ARS, while the Senate-reported bill would have provided $1.123 billion, approximately the enacted amount. The conference report did not concur with the USDA proposal to close six research locations or for terminating or reallocating certain research programs.

National Institute of Food and Agriculture

The enacted FY2014 appropriation provided NIFA with $1.277 billion, $135 million more (+12%) than the FY2013 post-sequestration amount. The enacted FY2014 appropriation provided approximately the Senate-reported level, which was about $68 million more than the House-reported bill, but $11 million less than the Administration request. Within the NIFA total,

  • Research and Education activities received $773 million, an $89 million increase (+13%) relative to FY2013. Most of the research program subaccounts received commensurate increases, including USDA's flagship competitive grants program—the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)—and several of the primary formula fund programs such as the Hatch Act, the Evans-Allen Act, and the McIntire-Stennis forestry programs.
  • Extension Activities were appropriated $469 million, about $30 million more (+7%) than FY2013.
  • Integrated Activities—which had declined by about two-thirds between FY2010 and FY2013—received 78% more (+$15 million) in FY2014 than FY2013. The $35 million available in FY2014, though, is still $20 million less than Integrated Activities received in FY2008.

National Agricultural Statistics Service

Under the enacted FY2014 appropriation, NASS received $161 million, which was $5.4 million (-3.3%) less than the FY2013 post-sequestration amount. Up to $44.5 million is for the Census of Agriculture, which is $13 million less than for the census in FY2013 due to fewer expenses for completing the 2012 Census of Agriculture. Other NASS activities received an increase of $8 million. Conferees note that the FY2014 funding should be sufficient to resume publication of several reports that NASS suspended or eliminated since 2012 due to funding constraints.

Economic Research Service

P.L. 113-76 provides $78.1 million for the Economic Research Service (ERS), nearly $7 million more (+9%) than the post-sequestration amount for FY2013. The enacted amount follows the Administration's request and the Senate-reported bill that provided $78.5 million, while the House-reported bill was slightly smaller at $75.5 million.

Table 11. USDA Research, Extension, and Economics (REE) Appropriations

(budget authority in millions of dollars)

 

FY2008

FY2010

FY2012

FY2013

FY2014

Change from FY2013 to FY2014

Agency or Major Program

P.L. 110-161

P.L. 111-80

P.L. 112-55

P.L. 113-6 post-sequester

Admin. request

House-reported H.R. 2410

Senate-reported S. 1244

Enacted P.L. 113-76

$

%

Agricultural Research Service

1,167.8

1,250.5

1,094.6

1,016.9

1,279.0

1,074.2

1,123.2

1,122.5

+105.5

+10.4%

National Institute of Food and Agric.

1,183.8

1,343.2

1,202.3

1,142.0

1,288.3

1,208.9

1,277.5

1,277.1

+135.0

+11.8%

Research and Education

668.3

788.2

705.6

683.2

801.1

718.7

772.8

772.6

+89.4

+13.1%

AFRI

190.8

262.5

264.5

275.6

383.4

290.7

316.4

316.4

+40.8

+14.8%

Hatch Act

195.8

215.0

236.3

218.6

236.3

236.3

243.7

243.7

+25.1

+11.5%

Evans-Allen

41.1

48.5

50.9

47.1

50.9

50.9

52.5

52.5

+5.4

+11.5%

McIntire-Stennis

24.8

29.0

32.9

30.5

32.9

32.9

34.0

34.0

+3.5

+11.5%

Other

215.8

233.2

121.0

111.5

97.6

107.9

126.2

126.0

+14.5

+13.0%

Extension

453.3

494.9

475.2

439.1

459.0

459.0

469.4

469.2

+30.1

+6.9%

Smith-Lever (b) & (c)

274.7

297.5

294.0

271.3

294.0

294.0

300.0

300.0

+28.7

+10.6%

Smith-Lever (d)

97.5

101.3

99.3

91.7

85.7

84.7

85.7

85.5

-6.1

-6.7%

Other

81.1

96.1

81.8

76.1

79.3

80.3

83.7

83.7

+7.5

+9.9%

Integrated Activities

55.9

60.0

21.5

19.8

28.1

31.1

35.3

35.3

+15.5

+78.2%

National Agric. Statistics Service

162.2

161.8

158.6

166.6

159.6

154.8

162.1

161.2

-5.4

-3.3%

Economic Research Service

77.4

82.5

77.7

71.4

78.5

75.5

78.5

78.1

+6.7

+9.3%

Total, Research, Education and Econ.

2,591.2

2,838.0

2,533.3

2,397.0

2,805.4

2,513.2

2,641.3

2,638.8

+241.8

+10.1%

Total REE in Inflation-Adjusted 2014 Dollars

2,867.4

3,069.5

2,635.1

2,442.4

na

na

na

2,638.8

na

na

Source: CRS, compiled from appropriations committee tables in the joint explanatory statements or committee reports for P.L. 113-76, H.R. 2410, S. 1244, P.L. 113-6, P.L. 112-55, P.L. 111-80, and P.L. 110-161. Post-sequestration amounts for FY2013 were obtained from the USDA FY2013 Operating Plan (at http://www.dm.usda.gov/foia/docs/USDA_Operating_Plan.pdf) and USDA Office of Budget and Program Analysis unpublished tables, July 2013.

Marketing and Regulatory Programs

Three agencies carry out USDA's marketing and regulatory programs mission area: the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), and the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service25

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is responsible for protecting U.S. agriculture from domestic and foreign pests and diseases, responding to domestic animal and plant health problems, and facilitating agricultural trade through science-based standards. APHIS has key responsibilities for dealing with prominent concerns such as avian influenza (AI), bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or "mad cow disease"), bovine tuberculosis, a growing number of invasive plant pests—such as the Emerald Ash Borer, the Asian Long-horned Beetle, and the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter—and a national animal identification (ID) program for animal disease tracking and control. APHIS also is charged with administering the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), which seeks to protect pets and other animals used for research and entertainment.

The enacted FY2014 appropriation provides $821.7 million for APHIS salaries and expenses, which is about $60 million more than the post-sequestration budget authority for FY2013 ($761.5 million).26 The final budget also provides $3.2 million for buildings and facilities, and further authorizes APHIS to collect fees to cover the total costs of providing technical assistance, goods, or services in certain cases.

The enacted budget further specifies appropriated amounts at the program level, according to APHIS's new budget structure proposed and implemented as part of the FY2012 appropriations process that reorganized and consolidated APHIS programs across 29 budgetary line items.27 Within APHIS, the following appropriations are provided across each of the proposed budget categories: plant health ($305.9 million, 37% of total); animal health ($285.4 million, 34% of total budget); wildlife services ($106.3 million, 13% of total); regulatory services ($34.4 million, 4%); safe trade and international technical assistance ($34.2 million, 4%); animal welfare ($28.7 million, 3%); safeguarding and emergency preparedness ($17.4 million, 2%); and agency management ($9.4 million, 1%).

Plant Health

Within these budget categories, nearly one-fifth of the total appropriated amount, $151.5 million, is directed to Specialty Crop Pests, "to remain available until expended," of which, $8.8 million is specified to address "field crop and rangeland ecosystem pests" and $54.0 million is intended for "tree and wood pests." The enacted bill provides one-time funding of $20 million through FY2015 to support multi-agency coordination involving the citrus industry, federal and state regulatory personnel, and research on citrus greening disease (also known as Huanglongbing), as well as efforts to exclude and eradicate activities associated with the Asian Citrus Psyllid, the primary vector of the bacterium that causes the disease, and to protect the citrus industry as part of the Citrus Health Response Program (CHRP).28

The explanatory statement further provides $26.9 million for the agriculture quarantine inspections function, including pre-departure inspections. It also provides funding for activities under the National Clean Plant Network as well as addressing invasive honey bee pests, and includes funding for these efforts under the Plant Protection Methods Development budget line item.29 The enacted bill specifically provides $12.7 million to address cotton pests. Other language that had been included in the House and Senate committee reports but not specifically addressed in the conference agreement also was implicitly approved.30 For example, the House report directs USDA to treat the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug as a priority pest of fruits and vegetables, and to fund the Potato Cyst Nematode eradication program above the spending level in FY2013.31 Both the House and Senate committee reports also direct USDA to address Sudden Oak Death, a disease caused by a plant pathogen (Phytopthora ramorum).

Animal Health

Within the funding categories for animal health, the explanatory agreement specifically states that the conferees do not support the request in the President's FY2014 budget for APHIS to fund two separate accounts for Equine and Cervid Health and Sheep and Goat Health. The enacted law states that APHIS should spend no less than $3 million for cervid (e.g., deer) health activities. (The Senate committee report also directs USDA to maintain federal funding to address chronic wasting disease concerns regarding cervid populations.) The enacted bill provides $35.3 million for Animal Health Technical Services and $52.3 million to support avian health, as well as $0.7 million to support activities under the Horse Protection Act; $3.7 million for the National Veterinary Stockpile; $5.0 million for the screwworm program; and $1.5 million each for the indemnities under the scrapie program and wildlife damage management for aviation safety (in most cases, funds are to remain available until expended).

The agreement addresses economic and ecological damage caused by feral swine across the United States, and supports USDA's proposed increased funding for feral swine management and encourages the agency's Wildlife Services to explore development and field testing of non-hormonal, species-specific oral contraceptives, such as phaged-peptide constructs. The agreement further provides funding for APHIS to continue to implement its new animal traceability system through its Animal Health Technical Services budget line item.32 It also directs APHIS to submit quarterly reports to Congress with system updates on the traceability framework, state and tribal coordination, specific cost information, assessments of progress, and any deviations from the scheduled completion dates.

Other APHIS Provisions

Other language is included in the House and Senate committee reports but not specifically addressed in the conference agreement. The House report states support for the cooperative efforts of USDA's efforts in its National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP), and states that it expects APHIS to obligate $50 million to address early plant pest and disease detection and surveillance requirements in the 2008 farm bill.33 Both the House and Senate committee reports express support for the agency's wildlife damage management efforts.34 The Senate report also stated its support that APHIS continue to manage geese degradation on crops and to support aquaculture producers, and directs APHIS to use its Wildlife Damage Management funds to address issues associated wolf introductions. The House report provides $27.6 million to fund the animal welfare program, and the Senate report further encourages APHIS to consider whether a new classification is necessary for facility inspections under USDA's animal welfare programs.

The enacted bill also provides $4.3 million to support information technology infrastructure. In addition, the conference agreement requires that matching state funds be at least 40% for formulating and administering a brucellosis eradication program, and sets limitations on the operation and maintenance of aircrafts and aircraft purchases, and requires that any repair and alteration of leased buildings and improvements not exceed 10% of the current replacement value of the building. Both the House and Senate committee report recommends that APHIS continue to work with the Department of Homeland Security to facilitate the release of certain cargo at commercial import facilities.

As in previous years, the enacted FY2014 appropriation highlights that appropriators expect USDA to continue to use the authority provided in this bill to transfer funds from other appropriations or funds available to USDA for activities related to the arrest and eradication of animal and plant pests and diseases.35 The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and congressional appropriators have sparred for years over whether APHIS should—as appropriators have preferred—reach as needed into USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) account for mandatory funds to deal with emerging plant pests and other plant and animal health problems on an emergency basis, or be provided the funds primarily through the annual USDA appropriation, as OMB has argued. In particular, both committees highlight the need for USDA to use its authority to transfer CCC funds to address emerging plant pests. The enacted agreement provides that $0.47 million be available until expended for a "contingency fund" to control outbreaks of insects, plant diseases, animal diseases and for control of pest animals and birds to the extent necessary to meet emergency conditions.

Agricultural Marketing Service and Section 3236

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) administers numerous programs that facilitate the marketing of U.S. agricultural products in domestic and international markets. AMS each year receives appropriations in two different ways. Appropriations (largely mandatory under Section 32 authority, and a relatively small amount of discretionary appropriations) accounted for 82% of agency funding in FY2012. User fees and reimbursements accounted for 18% of AMS spending. These fees cover such activities as product quality and process verification programs, commodity grading, and Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act licensing.

The discretionary appropriation funds several programs—dissemination of marketing news, collection of data on pesticide residues and sampling foods consumed by infants and children, development and revision of quality grade standards for traded commodities, analysis of issues dealing with transporting agricultural commodities, analysis and support of local food marketing efforts, implementation of the national organic program, surveillance to ensure that only eggs fit for human consumption are sold, implementation of country of origin labeling requirements for covered commodities, administration of federal regulations on the interstate shipment of agricultural and vegetable seeds, and administering matching grants to states for resolving issues. This appropriation provides about 7% of AMS resources.

For FY2014, P.L. 113-76 appropriates $81.3 million to AMS, which is $5.6 million (+7.4%) above the post-sequestration FY2013 level. The increase adds funds back to certain AMS programs affected by FY2013 sequestration actions. This enacted FY2014 appropriation is almost $3 million less (-3.4%) than the Administration's $84.2 million request. Both the House and Senate accepted the Administration's proposal to eliminate $1.8 million in funding for the pesticide recordkeeping program.37

The conferees in their explanatory statement expressed disapproval of AMS's continued implementation, enforcement, and associated spending related to its May 2013 meat country of origin labeling (COOL) rule (78 Federal Register 31367). It noted the rule's high implementation costs to the livestock industry and the potential of retaliation by Canada and Mexico if both countries are successful in challenging this rule in the ongoing compliance phase of this WTO case. It recommended that USDA delay implementing and enforcing this COOL rule until the WTO case is completed.38 Conferees also directed AMS to report within 60 days on potential ways that would allow for the purchase of canned tuna (currently prohibited by USDA regulation) in school nutrition programs.

AMS's mandatory appropriation (which accounted for 70% of total agency funding in FY2012) applies to a transfer from the so-called Section 32 account.39 The Section 32 account is funded by a permanent appropriation of 30% of the previous calendar year's customs receipts, less certain mandatory transfers. AMS uses these additional Section 32 funds (not reflected in the above totals) to pay for a variety of programs and activities, notably child nutrition, and government purchases of surplus farm commodities not supported by ongoing farm price support programs. The 2008 farm bill set the maximum annual amount of Section 32 funds that would be available for obligation by AMS; this amount is $1.266 billion for FY2014. At the same time, the 2008 farm bill also mandated that funding for the fresh fruit and vegetable program in schools comes from the Section 32 funds available for obligation by AMS.40 The 2008 farm bill also required additional purchases of Section 32 funds to be to purchase fruit, vegetables, and nuts for domestic food assistance programs.

The FY2014 appropriation provides $1.107 billion of Section 32 funds for AMS, which is the same as the House- and Senate-passed bills, and compares with $1.05 billion in FY2013. This amount represents the actual level of funding available for obligations by AMS, after rescissions and mandatory transfers have been made, and is considered mandatory spending. Section 32 funds available for obligation by AMS have been used at the Secretary's discretion, primarily to fund commodity purchases to support the agriculture sector and farm prices, additional amounts for the school lunch and other domestic programs, and to provide disaster assistance.

Rescissions of Section 32 carryover funds generally are used to achieve budgetary savings. The enacted appropriation for FY2014 contained, under Title VII (General Provisions), a rescission of $189 million from prior year budget authority.

In addition, as in appropriations acts since FY2012, the FY2014 appropriations includes a provision that effectively prohibits the use of Section 32 funds for direct payment to farmers.

[N]one of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this or any other Act shall be used to pay the salaries or expenses of any employee of the Department of Agriculture or officer of the Commodity Credit Corporation to carry out clause 3 of Section 32 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 195 (P.L. 74-320, 7 U.S.C. 612c, as amended) or for any surplus removal activities or price support activities under section 5 of the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act.41

Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration42

USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) oversees the marketing of U.S. grain, oilseeds, livestock, poultry, meat, and other commodities. GIPSA's Federal Grain Inspection Service establishes standards for the inspection, weighing, and grading of grain, rice, and other commodities. The Packers and Stockyards Program monitors livestock and poultry markets to ensure fair competition and guard against deceptive and fraudulent trade practices.

The enacted FY2014 appropriation (P.L. 113-76) provides $40.3 million for GIPSA salary and expenses, which is $3.0 million (+8.0%) more than the post-sequestration amount for FY2013. This was $0.2 million less (-0.5%) than the Administration's budget request and the Senate-reported bill, but $1.1 million more (+2.8%) than the House-reported bill. The enacted appropriation authorizes GIPSA to collect up $50 million in user fees for inspection and weighing services.

Section 744 of P.L. 113-76 restricts GIPSA's ability to finalize or implement its proposed rule (75 Federal Register 35338, June 22, 2010) on livestock and poultry marketing practices to implement requirements under Title XI of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246). Appropriated funds may be used to publish a final or interim final rule only if the annual cost to the economy is less than $100 million. In addition, the section prohibits USDA from using any funds to implement eight specific sections of the proposed rule, regardless of the annual cost to the economy of a final or interim final rule. They are the definitions of the tournament system, §201.2(l); competitive injury, §201.2(t); and the likelihood of injury, §201.2(u). The other provisions cover the applicability of the regulations on conduct that is a violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act (7 U.S.C. §181 et seq.; P&S Act), §201.3(c); unfair, unjust discriminatory and deceptive practices, §201.210; undue or unreasonable preferences, §201.211; livestock and poultry contracts, §201.213; and lastly, the tournament system, §201.214.

The House-reported FY2014 agriculture appropriations bill (H.R. 2410) included language to restrict GIPSA's ability to finalize or implement the proposed rule, and it was similar to language in the House appropriations bills in FY2012 and FY2013. The Senate-reported FY2014 Agriculture appropriations bill (S. 1244) did not include a similar provision. The proposed GIPSA rule addresses how competitive injury is treated under the P&S Act; sets criteria for determining unfair, unjustly discriminatory and deceptive practices, and undue or unreasonable preference or advantages; and includes arbitration provisions that give contract growers opportunities to participate in meaningful arbitration. The proposed rule was contentious, with proponents arguing that it would bring fairness to marketing transactions, while opponents argued it would disrupt markets and lead to increased litigation.

For more information, see CRS Report R41673, USDA's "GIPSA Rule" on Livestock and Poultry Marketing Practices.

Food Safety43

Numerous federal, state, and local agencies share responsibilities for regulating the safety of the U.S. food supply.44 Federal responsibility for food safety rests primarily with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the USDA. FDA, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, is responsible for ensuring the safety of the majority of all domestic and imported food products (except for meat and poultry products). USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulates most meat, poultry, and processed egg products. The agriculture appropriations subcommittees oversee both the FDA and FSIS budgets.

Historically, federal funding and staffing levels between FDA and FSIS have been disproportionate to their respective responsibilities for addressing food safety activities. Although FSIS is responsible for 10%-20% of the U.S. food supply, it has had approximately 60% of the two agencies' combined food safety budget; and although FDA has been responsible for 80%-90% of the U.S. food supply, it has received about 40% of the available budget (Table 12). For example, in FY2010, FSIS received $1.018 billion in appropriated funds plus another approximately $150 million in industry-paid user fees, whereas FDA's FY2010 budget for foods was $783 million, virtually all of it appropriated with limited authorized user fees. Staffing levels also vary considerably among the two agencies: FSIS staff numbered around 9,400 FTEs in FY2010, while FDA staff working on food-related activities numbers about 3,400 FTEs.

In the past few years the balance of overall funding for food safety between FDA and USDA has started to shift. Over the years, congressional appropriators have increased funding for FDA food activities, which more than doubled from $435.5 million in FY2005 to an estimated $866.1 million in FY2012 (Table 12). FDA's operating level in FY2013, including sequestration, totaled an estimated $796.6 million. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) also provided for additional limited funding through certain types of industry-paid user fees, currently estimated at roughly $17 million annually.45 Not including funding from user fees, the enacted appropriation provides an increase in agency funding for FY2014 food safety efforts for both FDA and FSIS, compared with the post-sequestration budgetary authority for FY2013.

FSMA—the comprehensive food safety legislation that was enacted in the 111th Congress, P.L. 111-353—authorized additional appropriations and staff for FDA's future food safety activities.46 FSMA was the largest expansion of FDA's food safety authorities since the 1930s. Among its many provisions, FSMA increases frequency of inspections at food facilities, tightens record-keeping requirements, extends oversight to certain farms, and mandates product recalls. It requires food processing, manufacturing, shipping, and other facilities to conduct a food safety plan of the most likely safety hazards, and design and implement risk-based controls. It also mandates improvements to the nation's foodborne illness surveillance systems and increased scrutiny of food imports, among other provisions. FSMA did not directly address meat and poultry products under USDA's jurisdiction.

Although Congress authorized appropriations when it enacted FSMA, it did not provide the full funding needed for FDA to perform these activities. After FSMA was signed into law in January 2011, concerns were voiced about whether there would be enough money to overhaul the U.S. food safety system and also whether expanded investment in this area was appropriate in the current budgetary climate.47 Prior to enactment, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that implementing FSMA could increase net federal spending subject to appropriation by about $1.4 billion over a five-year period (FY2011-FY2015).48 This cost estimate covers activities at FDA and other federal agencies, and does not include offsetting revenue from the collection of new user fees authorized under FSMA. New fees authorized under FSMA include an annual fee for participants in the voluntary qualified importer program (VQIP) and three fees for certain periodic activities involving reinspection, recall, and export certification.49 FSMA did not impose any new facility registration fees. Prior to enactment, CBO estimated that about $240 million in new fees would be collected over the five-year period (FY2011-FY2015).50 Taking into account these new fees, CBO estimated that covering the five-year cost of new requirements within FDA, including more frequent inspections, would require additional outlays of $1.1 billion. FSMA also authorized an increase in FDA staff, reaching 5,000 by FY2014.51

FDA continues to implement regulations under FSMA. Although Congress has added about $100 million to FDA's base budget in the past few years, FDA officials claim the agency will need at least $400 million more per year above its FY2012 base to fully implement FSMA.52

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

FDA's foods program accounts for about one-third of its budget authority for all its programs (the entirety of FDA is discussed later; see Table 19).53 The enacted FY2014 appropriation provides $882.8 million for FDA's Foods Program, which is about $86 million more than the post-sequestration budgetary authority for FY2013 ($796.6 million), not including funding from expected user fees (Table 12). The enacted bill also assumes that FDA will collect additional revenue of about $17 million in user fees under its foods program. These authorized fees, as amended under FSMA, include food and feed recall fees, food reinspection fees, export certification fees, and voluntary qualified importer program fees.

The enacted amount is more than $200 million less than the Administration's request, which also included proposed new user fees. The request projected a total need of $1.107 billion for FDA's food program for FY2014, including proposed new fees (Table 12). FDA justified these proposed new fees increases based on various elements of the enacted food safety law (FSMA).54 In addition to FSMA-authorized use fees (food export certification, food reinspection, and food and feed recall user fees) the Administration's budget request also requested approval of other new user fees. These proposed fees included a "Food Facility Registration and Inspection Fee" (expected FY2014 revenue of $58.9 million) and a "Food Import Fee" (expected FY2014 revenue of $165.7 million). The enacted law did not include the Administration's proposed fees. The conferees did note that FDA user fee programs are subject to sequester, although they are not normal tax revenue.

The final agreement includes several provisions regarding FSMA and related provisions. The conferees commend FDA for its decision to revise language in proposed rules affecting farmers as part of FDA's "Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption" (FDA-2011-N-0921; 78 Federal Register 3504).55 They also express concern about the FDA's estimation of the implementation costs of its "Preventive Controls for Human Food" rule (FDA-2011-N-0920; 78 Federal Register 3646). The explanatory statement directs FDA to implement a comprehensive training program pertaining to its regulations.56The House committee report further notes that FDA has missed statutory deadlines under FSMA and directs FDA to provide a report detailing why any proposed rule or final regulation is more than 120 days beyond its statutory deadline. Both the House and Senate reports address the National Agriculture and Food Defense Strategy Plan under FSMA (§108) and encourages FDA to fund research to effectively monitor and protect against intentional adulteration of the food supply. The House report encourages FDA to maintain an appropriate funding level for both FSMA related activities and the base work performed by the agency's Food Safety Centers of Excellence. It also directs FDA, in consultation with USDA, to create a science-based, international food traceability initiative through a collaborative public-private partnership model under FSMA (§204) and provide a report within 180 days of enactment on the structure, goals, and implementation status of such traceability initiative. Finally, the House report encourages FDA to establish a pilot project to expedite imports for importers with strong safety records. In addition, the Senate committee report provides $53.5 million for FSMA implementation.

The enacted appropriation contains a series of other recommendations for FDA. Both the House and Senate committee reports direct FDA to publish a final seafood advisory (as directed in the FY2012 appropriations).57 The Senate report also requires that FDA work with states and the Department of Commerce to increase efforts to combat fraud in parts of the seafood industry. The House report directs FDA to revise the standard of identity for canned tuna. Similarly, the Senate report directs FDA to expedite the publication of the draft guidance for industry on the proper labeling of honey and honey products to address instances where manufacturers have been marketing products illegally as "honey" or "pure honey" that contained other ingredients.

The final agreement also addresses various aspects of FDA's National Antimicrobial Response Monitoring System (NARMS) to address antibiotic use in meat-producing animals. The House report urges FDA to consider providing additional funding for this program if warranted and directs FDA and USDA to engage in further collaboration and continue to analyze, characterize, and report on data collected through NARMS. The Senate report further directs FDA to enhance its annual summary of data reported under the Animal Drug User Fee Act (ADUFA, §105). The final law also addresses certain requirements regarding dietary supplements. The House report directs FDA to report back within 60 days of enactment with a timeline on how FDA intends to develop a final guidance on New Dietary Ingredients (NDI) for Dietary Supplements which have been delayed. The Senate report encourages FDA to develop industry guidance for manufacturing botanical dietary supplements, and directs FDA to conclude its review and report its findings.

The House committee report expresses concern about the "unpredictable nature and pace at which FDA moves guidance, rules, and regulations through the process" and further directs FDA to report to the appropriations committees on how the agency plans to develop new methods of communicating with its stakeholders on future actions affecting critical policy issues, including estimated timeframes for when regulations, advisories, and guidance are planned for release and what decision points are necessary before these policy documents can be made.

Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)

For USDA's FSIS, the enacted FY2014 appropriation provides $1.010 billion, which is about $33 million more than the post-sequestration budgetary authority for FY2013 ($977.3 million; Table 12). These congressional appropriations are expected to be augmented by existing (currently authorized) user fees, which FSIS had earlier estimated would total approximately $150 million.58 Laws governing FSIS include the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA, 21 U.S.C. §§601, et seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA, 21 U.S.C. §§451, et seq.), and the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA, 21 U.S.C. §§1031, et seq.).

FSIS's appropriations are to be allocated as follows: federal $893.7 million; state $62.7 million; international $15.9 million; Codex Alimentarius $3.8 million; and Public Health Data Communications Infrastructure System $34.6 million (the latter to remain available until expended). The final agreement provides that $1 million may be credited from fees collected for the cost of the national laboratory accreditation programs.59 However, it does not approve user fees proposed by the Administration, to partly recover the increased costs of providing additional inspections and related services. Revenue from these fees, which would require new authorizing legislation, is estimated at $4.0 million.

The final agreement requires that FSIS continue to implement a grading and inspection program for catfish as required under the 2008 farm bill.60 It also requires FSIS to maintain no fewer than 148 FTEs to inspect and enforce the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA) during FY2014. The final law also prohibits any horse inspection under FMIA and the 1996 farm bill (P.L. 104-127), and also prohibits any related implementation or enforcement of regulations under 9 CFR Part 352.19.61 Both the House and Senate committee reports address additional issues regarding animal welfare. The House report requires that inspectors hired with funding previously specified for Humane Methods of Slaughter Act enforcement oversee compliance with humane handling rules for live animals. The Senate report further directs FSIS to continue to provide annual reports to the appropriations committee on the implementation of objective scoring methods undertaken by FSIS under the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. In addition, the House report urges FSIS to work with tribes to set up voluntary, fee-for-service programs for the slaughter of tribally-raised buffalo and bison. The House report also urges FSIS to implement its HAACP-Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP), proposed in 2012, that shifts some online inspection responsibilities from government inspectors at processing plants to poultry company employees. The enacted law specifically does not approve additional funding requested by the Administration to add states to the Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) program. It also limits the cost of altering any one building during the fiscal year to 10% of the current replacement value of the building.

Table 12. Food Safety Appropriations

(FTEs as indicated, and budget and appropriation figures in millions of dollars)

Agency/Year

FTEsa

Appropriationb

Program Level, Including Feesc

HHS Food and Drug Administration (FDA), "Foods" Subtotal

FY2009 Actual

2,995

712.8

712.8

FY2010 Actual

3,387

783.2

783.2

FY2011 Actual

3,605

836.2

836.2

FY2012 Actual

3,546

866.1

882.7

FY2013 Operating Level (post-sequestration)

3,684

796.6d

813.2

FY2014 Administration Request

4,110

≈882.0

1,106.6e

FY2014, Omnibus (P.L. 113-76)

NA

882.8

NA

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)

FY2009 Actual

9,343

971.6

NA

FY2010 Actual

9,401

1,018.5

NA

FY2011 Actual

9,465

1, 008.5

NA

FY2012 Actual

9,351

1,004.4

NA

FY2013 Operating Level (post-sequestration)

9,360

977.3f

NA

FY2014 Administration Request

9,122

1,008.5

NA

FY2014, Omnibus (P.L. 113-76)

NA

1,010.7

NA

Source: CRS, from annual agency Budget Explanatory Notes for Committee on Appropriations, various years, for FDA (http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/Reports/BudgetReports/default.htm) and FSIS (http://www.obpa.usda.gov/explan_notes.html). NA=not available.

Notes:

a. Staffing in full time equivalents (FTEs).

b. Does not include existing or proposed user fees or other 'non-federal' payments.

c. Includes user fees. For FDA, reflects enacted, CR, and requested fee amounts for "Food Reinspection" and "Food and Feed Recall" under the "foods field" (page 55 of the FY2014 Congressional justification).

d. FDA's "Sequestration Operating Plan."

e. The Administration's requested program level total includes proposed fees in excess of $220 million, covering a proposed "Food Facility Registration and Inspection" fee and a proposed "Food Import" fee. The "Appropriation" amount excludes user fees from reported "Program Level" amount (calculated by CRS).

f. Reported by USDA for FSIS in its "Fiscal Year 2013 Operating Plan" and reflects "2013 Enacted w/ Sequester and Rescissions."

Farm Service Agency62

USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) is probably best known for administering the farm commodity subsidy programs and the disaster assistance programs. It makes these payments to farmers through a network of county offices. In addition, FSA also administers USDA's direct and guaranteed farm loan programs, certain mandatory conservation programs (in cooperation with the Natural Resources Conservation Service), and supports certain international food assistance and export credit programs administered by the Foreign Agricultural Service and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

FSA Salaries and Expenses

All of the administrative funds used by FSA to carry out its programs are consolidated into one account. A direct appropriation for FSA salaries and expenses pays to carry out the activities such as the farm commodity programs. Transfers also are received from other USDA agencies to pay for FSA administering CCC export credit guarantees, P.L. 480 loans, and the farm loan programs.

This section discusses amounts for regular FSA salaries and expenses, plus the transfer within FSA for the salaries, expenses, and administrative expenses of the farm loan programs. Amounts transferred to FSA from the Foreign Agricultural Service for administrative support are not included with the FSA totals in this report (and represent about 0.2% of total FSA salaries and expenses).

The enacted FY2014 appropriation provides $1.493 billion for FSA salaries and expenses, $89 million (+6.3%) more than FY2013 post-sequestration levels. Both the House and Senate bills would have provided a similar increase and were within $10 million of the enacted level.

The joint explanatory statement directs USDA to seek outside funding from public or private entities to augment the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP). Conferees would like digital aerial photography of the entire continental United States each year that they say would benefit USDA programs and other users. USDA is to provide a report 90 days after enactment.

FSA Farm Loan Programs

The USDA Farm Service Agency serves as a lender of last resort for family farmers unable to obtain credit from a commercial lender. USDA provides direct farm loans (loans made directly from USDA to farmers), and it also guarantees the timely repayment of principal and interest on qualified loans to farmers from commercial lenders. FSA loans are used to finance farm real estate, operating expenses, and recovery from natural disasters. Some loans are made at a subsidized interest rate.63

An appropriation is made to FSA each year to cover the federal cost of making direct and guaranteed loans, referred to as a loan subsidy. Loan subsidy is directly related to any interest rate subsidy provided by the government, as well as a projection of anticipated loan losses from farmer non-repayment of the loans. The amount of loans that can be made—the loan authority—is several times larger than the subsidy level.

The FY2014 appropriation provides $90 million of loan subsidy to support $5.527 billion of direct and guaranteed loans. Though the loan subsidy is about the same as the FY2013 post-sequestration amount, the total farm loan authority is $952 million higher (+21%) than in FY2013 (Table 13).

  • Guaranteed loans receive most of the increase in loan authority: $500 million more (+33%) than FY2013 for guaranteed farm ownership loans, and $115 million more (+8%) than FY2013 for guaranteed farm operating loans.
  • Direct loan authority also increases: $226 million more (+23%) than FY2013 for direct farm operating loans, and $136 million more (+31%) for direct farm ownership loans.
  • Emergency loan authority is provided at $35 million, an increase of $13 million from FY2013, which was the first year in many years that emergency loans received new loan authority. Emergency loans had been operating for much of the last decade, through FY2012, on carryover funding.
  • Boll weevil eradication loan authority is set at $60 million for FY2014. This is the first time in many years that Congress has reduced that loan authority from $100 million, despite Administration requests for that lower level.

Following the global financial crisis that began in 2008, FSA farm loan authority generally has risen. Broad financial system pressures dramatically increased the demand for FSA farm loans and guarantees when commercial bank lending standards became stricter and loans sometimes were less available. In FY2009 and FY2010, supplemental appropriations increased regular FSA loan authority by nearly $1 billion each year in order to meet demand, up from about pre-crisis levels of $3.5 billion in 2008 to post-supplemental levels of $6.0 billion in FY2010. From FY2011-FY2013, loan authority decreased both due to federal budget pressures and somewhat lessened demand as the financial system stabilized. Nonetheless, in some years, continued high farm loan demand for certain programs has caused the loan authority to be exhausted.64 The FY2014 loan authority restores the total closer to the supplemental levels of FY2009 and FY2010.

Table 13. USDA Farm Loan Appropriations

(dollars in millions)

 

FY2012

FY2013

FY2014

Change from FY2013 to FY2014

 

P.L. 112-55

P.L. 113-6 post-sequester

Enacted P.L. 113-76

Budget Authority

Loan Authority

FSA Farm Loan Program

Budget Authority

Loan Authority

Budget Authority

Loan Authority

Budget Authority

Loan Authority

$

%

$

%

Farm ownership loans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Direct

22.8

475

18.6

439

4.4

575

-14.2

-76.2%

+136

+31.1%

Guaranteed

0.0

1,500

0.0

1,500

0.0

2,000

 

 

+500

+33.3%

Farm operating loans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Direct

59.1

1,050

54.0

970

65.5

1,196

+11.5

+21.3%

+226

+23.3%

Guaranteed (unsubsidized)

26.1

1,500

16.5

1,385

18.3

1,500

+1.8

+11.0%

+115

+8.3%

Conservation loans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guaranteed

0.0

150

0.0

150

0.0

150

 

 

+0

+0.0%

Other direct loans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emergency loans

 

 

1.2

22

1.7

35

+0.5

+39.6%

+13

+60.2%

Indian tribe land acquisition loans

0.0

2

0.0

2

0.0

2

 

 

+0

+0.0%

Indian highly fractionated land loans

0.2

10

0.2

9

0.1

10

-0.1

-57.5%

+1

+8.3%

Boll weevil eradication loans

0.0

100

0.0

100

0.0

60

 

 

-40

-40.0%

Subtotal, FSA Farm Loan Program

108.2

4,787

90.5

4,576

90.0

5,527

-0.4

-0.5%

+952

+20.8%

Salaries and expenses

289.7

 

281.6

 

307.0

 

+25.4

+9.0%

 

 

Administrative expenses

7.9

 

7.3

 

7.7

 

+0.4

+5.6%

 

 

Total, FSA Farm Loan Program

405.8

4,787

379.3

4,576

404.7

5,527

+25.4

+6.7%

+952

+20.8%

Source: CRS, compiled from appropriations committee tables in the joint explanatory statements or committee reports for P.L. 113-76, H.R. 2410, S. 1244, P.L. 113-6, and P.L. 112-55. Post-sequestration amounts for FY2013 were obtained from the USDA FY2013 Operating Plan (at http://www.dm.usda.gov/foia/docs/USDA_Operating_Plan.pdf) and USDA Office of Budget and Program Analysis unpublished tables, July 2013.

Notes: Budget authority reflects the cost of making loans, such as interest subsidies and default. Some programs are self-funding because of fees charged. Loan authority reflects the amount of loans that FSA may make or guarantee.

Commodity Credit Corporation65

The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is the funding mechanism for the mandatory subsidy payments that farmers receive. Farm Service Agency salaries and expenses (a discretionary appropriation) pays for administration of the programs. For FY2014, most spending for USDA's mandatory agriculture and conservation programs was authorized by the 2008 farm bill as amended (P.L. 110-246).66 On February 7, 2014, the Agricultural Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-79, the 2014 farm bill) was enacted, which authorizes mandatory spending for crop years 2014-2018, with appropriations required beginning FY2015.

The CCC is a wholly owned government corporation that has the legal authority to borrow up to $30 billion at any one time from the U.S. Treasury (15 U.S.C. 714 et seq.). These borrowed funds finance spending for programs such as farm commodity subsidies and various conservation, trade, food aid, and rural development programs. Emergency supplemental spending also has been paid from the CCC over the years, particularly for ad-hoc farm disaster payments, for direct market loss payments to growers of various commodities in response to low farm commodity prices, and for animal and plant disease eradication efforts.

Although the CCC can borrow from the Treasury, it eventually must repay the funds it borrows. It may earn a small amount of money from activities such as buying and selling commodities and receiving interest payments on loans. But because the CCC never earns more than it spends, its borrowing authority must be replenished periodically through a congressional appropriation so that it does not reach its $30 billion debt limit. Congress generally provides this infusion through the annual Agriculture appropriation law. In recent years, the CCC has received a "current indefinite appropriation," which provides "such sums as are necessary" during the fiscal year.

Mandatory outlays for the commodity programs rise and fall based on economic or weather conditions. Funding needs are difficult to estimate, which is a primary reason that the programs are mandatory rather than discretionary. More or less of the Treasury line of credit may be used year to year. Similarly, the congressional appropriation may not always restore the line of credit to the previous year's level, or may repay more than was spent. For these reasons, the appropriation to the CCC may not reflect outlays.67

To replenish CCC's borrowing authority with the Treasury, the enacted FY2014 Agriculture appropriation concurs with the Administration request and House and Senate bills for an indefinite appropriation ("such sums as necessary") for CCC. The amount is estimated in all cases to be $12.5 billion for FY2014. In recent years, such amounts ranged from $15.1 billion in FY2010 to $11.0 billion in FY2013.

The FY2014 appropriation continues a provision (§726) that has appeared since FY2011 that limits the ability of USDA to provide marketing assistance loans for mohair. USDA has suspended the marketing loan and deficiency payment program for mohair since FY2011.68

Similarly, the act includes a provision (§719) that has appeared since FY2012 that effectively prohibits the use of CCC funds for direct payments to farmers under certain conditions:

[N]one of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this or any other Act shall be used to pay the salaries or expenses of any employee of the Department of Agriculture or officer of the Commodity Credit Corporation to carry out clause 3 of Section 32 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 195 (P.L. 74-320, 7 U.S.C. 612c, as amended) or for any surplus removal activities or price support activities under section 5 of the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act.69

Crop Insurance70

The federal crop insurance program is administered by USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA). It offers basically free catastrophic insurance to producers who grow an insurable crop. Producers who opt for this coverage have the opportunity to purchase additional insurance coverage at a subsidized rate (about a 62% subsidy, on average). Policies are sold and serviced through approved private insurance companies that have their program losses reinsured by USDA and are reimbursed by the government for their administrative and operating expenses.71

The annual Agriculture appropriations bill traditionally makes two separate appropriations for the federal crop insurance program. First, it provides discretionary funding for the salaries and expenses of the RMA. Second, it provides "such sums as are necessary" for the Federal Crop Insurance Fund, which finances all other expenses of the program, including premium subsidies, net indemnity payments, and reimbursements to the private insurance companies.

For the salaries and expenses of the RMA, the enacted FY2014 appropriation provides $71.5 million, up $2.4 million (+3.5%) from the post-sequestration amount for FY2013 and the same as the Administration's request and the House and Senate bills. The enacted FY2014 appropriation also provides $9.5 billion for the Federal Crop Insurance Fund, essentially unchanged from the estimated level in FY2013. Recent funding requirements have been above previous years (e.g., $6.5 billion in FY2010) due to losses associated with a major drought in 2012 and other adverse weather events.72

Conservation73

USDA administers a number of agricultural conservation programs that assist private landowners with natural resource concerns. These include working land programs, land retirement and easement programs, watershed programs, technical assistance, and other programs. The two lead agricultural conservation agencies within USDA are the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which provides technical assistance and administers most programs, and the Farm Service Agency (FSA), which administers the largest program, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

The majority of conservation program funding is mandatory, funded through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), and authorized in omnibus farm bills (about $5 billion in FY2014). Other conservation programs, mostly technical assistance, are discretionary and funded through annual appropriations (about $826 million in FY2014).74

The enacted FY2014 appropriation accepts some, but not all, of the Administration's proposed reductions to mandatory conservation programs and provides more than the Administration's request for discretionary program. The enacted appropriation increases discretionary NRCS funding by $45 million (from $781 million in FY2013 to $826 million in FY2014). The House-passed bill would have increased discretionary NRCS funding by $42 million, the Senate-passed bill would have increased funding by $38 million, and the Administration's proposal would have increased discretionary funding by $28 million.

Several conservation programs authorized to receive mandatory funding expired or would expire at the end of FY2014. The FY2014 appropriation reduced mandatory conservation program spending by $425 million (Table 4). Of the programs with existing authority, the Administration proposed a reduction of $511 million, less than the House-passed bill, but more than the Senate-passed bill ($549 million and $439 million, respectively). The FY2014 appropriation was enacted prior to the passage of the 2014 farm bill (P.L. 113-79). Since the 2014 farm bill amended conservation programs that were reduced in the FY2014 appropriations, total funding for mandatory conservation programs is currently different than what was reported based on the enacted FY2014 appropriation.

Discretionary Conservation Programs

All of the discretionary conservation programs are administered by NRCS. Most of the increase in discretionary funding is for Conservation Operations (CO), the largest discretionary conservation program (Table 3). The enacted FY2014 appropriation provides $812.9 million for FY2014, $46.1 more than FY2013, $2.8 million more than the House-passed bill, $5.5 million less than the Senate-passed bill, and $5 million more than the Administration's request. The conference report further directs funding for a number of standing sub-programs under CO, including $9.3 million provided for the Snow Survey, $9.4 million for Plant Material Centers, $80 million for the Soil Survey, and $711.2 million for Conservation Technical Assistance. The conference report also specifies $3 million for ongoing watershed projects.

Funding also is provided for the Watershed Rehabilitation program, which rehabilitates aging dams previously built by USDA. The Administration proposed terminating this program because the maintenance, repair, and operation of dams is the responsibility of the local project sponsor. The enacted FY2014 appropriation includes the House-passed level of $12 million for the program. The Senate-passed bill included no funding for the program.

New Fee for Conservation Planning

Since FY2011, the Administration's annual budget has included a proposal to charge a fee for comprehensive conservation planning, a core activity currently provided to producers for free using CO funding. USDA estimated that this fee would generate $22 million annually.

This proposal was rejected by Congress until the 2013 budget agreement (P.L. 113-67), which authorized the fee for conservation plans with the following conditions: fees are assessed by USDA based on size and complexity; fees may not exceed $150 per plan; and fees may be waived for beginning, limited resource, and socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, to qualify for an exemption under highly erodible land compliance requirements, or to comply with regulations. The budget agreement also established a Conservation Technical Assistance Fund (CTAF) to receive fee revenue. Funds deposited in the CTAF are available until expended and may be used only for conservation purposes. CBO estimated the change in authority will generate roughly $4 million annually, totaling $39 million over 10-years.

The fee for conservation planning is discretionary and the Secretary is not required to implement the change in authority. However, the proposal has appeared in the Administration's budget request for the previous four years.

The action creating this fee was a change in authority and does not require action through annual appropriations until fees are collected. Once fees are deposited in the CTAF, appropriators may choose to reduce CO and supplement appropriations with the fund.

A number of conservation and producer organizations oppose the fee, citing that it will reduce adoption of conservation practices, is administratively burdensome, and generally is cost ineffective.

The enacted FY2014 appropriation also provides $4 million to a previously-dormant program known as the Water Bank Program (WBP).75 The WBP was authorized in 197076 and operated until funding was eliminated in the FY1995 Agriculture Appropriations Act.77 According to FY1995 House and Senate appropriations report language, the program was duplicative of the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP, a previous farm bill program) and less effective because of shorter contract lengths.78 Under the WBP, USDA enters into non-renewable, 10-year contracts with landowners and operators to maintain wetlands in lieu of draining the land for agricultural production. Rental payments are made annually and no funding is provided for conservation practices. Land enrolled in WBP cannot be cropped.

After 17 years of no funding, the program was appropriated $7.5 million in FY2012. These funds were obligated exclusively in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota and were focused on flood reduction.79 In FY2012 highest priority was given for cropland ($50/acre/year), then pasture, hay and rangeland ($35/acre/year), and finally forestland ($20/acre/year). The Administration requested no funding for WBP in FY2014.

The enacted FY2014 appropriation permanently cancels any remaining funds for the Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) program – approximately $2 million.80 The RC&D program was authorized in 1962 and consisted of 375 designated RC&D areas nationwide. The RC&D program was terminated in the FY2011 long-term continuing resolution and the FY2014 Administration's request proposed rescinding the remaining unobligated balance of the program. Close-out of the program was complete in FY2012.

Mandatory Conservation Programs

Mandatory conservation programs are administered by NRCS and FSA. About $5 billion in FY2014 comes from the CCC and therefore does not require an annual appropriation. The enacted FY2014 appropriation accepts some of the Administration's proposed $511 million of reductions to mandatory conservation programs (CHIMPS). Both the Bush and Obama Administrations proposed reductions in conservation funding, usually more substantial than Congress has supported. The enacted appropriations reduces these programs by $425 million, which is $33 million less than the FY2013 reduction, $14 million less than the Senate-passed reduction, and $124 million less than the House-passed bill. Conservation program reductions in the FY2014 appropriation only affect the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Watershed Rehabilitation Program (Table 4).

Congress has reduced mandatory conservation programs in the annual agricultural appropriations law every year since FY2003. Because money is fungible, the savings from these reductions are not necessarily applied toward other conservation activities. Prior to the 2008 farm bill, reductions to conservation programs through appropriations law peaked in FY2006 with a reduction totaling $638 million. Following the 2008 farm bill, reductions peaked again in FY2012, with total conservation CHIMPS of $929 million.

Several conservation programs authorized to receive mandatory funding had expired or would expire in FY2014. Because CBO uses the last year of authorization to determine the 10-year funding baseline for the farm bill reauthorization, a CHIMP in the last year of a farm bill's authorization could multiply the effect on the 10-year farm bill baseline. Previous appropriations (e.g., FY2012) extended the authority of programs with CHIMPS so as not to affect baseline funding. The FY2014 appropriation treated the situation differently, however, by not only extending the program by one fiscal year, but also by reducing the final year of funding.81 This reduction did not score a savings because it was a reduction in a future fiscal year. It could have, however, reduced the overall farm bill baseline multiplicatively had the 2014 farm bill not been enacted shortly after the appropriation was enacted.82

The 2014 farm bill (P.L. 113-79) was enacted on February 7, 2014, 21 days after the enactment of the FY2014 appropriation. The farm bill amended the two conservation programs that were reduced in the FY2014 appropriations; therefore the total funding for mandatory conservation programs in FY2014 is different than what was reported in the enacted FY2014 appropriation.

The FY2014 appropriation limited EQIP spending to $1.35 billion. At the time of the appropriation, the program was authorized to spend $1.75 billion in FY2014. Therefore the limit on spending in the FY2014 appropriation resulted in savings of $272 million.83 The 2014 farm bill extended the authority for EQIP to FY2018, but reduced the level of funding in FY2014 to $1.35 billion. It is unclear whether this level would be reduced further to meet sequestration requirements for FY2014.

The FY2014 appropriation also limits mandatory funding under the Watershed Rehabilitation Program. Mandatory funding for the program originally was provided in the 2002 farm bill to remain available until expended. Since that time, annual appropriations have restricted this no-year funding (recently $165 million per year) to generate annual savings.84 In FY2014, this restriction resulted in savings of $153 million.85 The 2014 farm bill authorized an additional $250 million for the Watershed Rehabilitation Program in FY2014, to remain available until expended. This new $250 million is not subject to the 2014 appropriations limit because the authorization was enacted subsequent to the appropriations restriction. It is unclear whether this new funding would be reduced further to meet sequestration requirements for FY2014.

Rural Development86

Three agencies are responsible for USDA's rural development mission area: the Rural Housing Service (RHS), the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS). An Office of Community Development provides community development support through field offices. This mission area also administers Rural Economic Area Partnerships and the National Rural Development Partnership.87

For FY2014, P.L. 113-76 provides $2.57 billion in discretionary budget authority for rural development programs, which is $290 million more than in FY2013 (+12.7%). If a rescission to the Cushion of Credit account (-$172 million) is incorporated, the net budget authority for rural development is $2.40 billion.88 This level of budget authority supports a program level of $36.94 billion in USDA rural development loans (Table 14).

Salaries and expenses within Rural Development are funded from a direct appropriation and from transfers from each of the agencies. The combined salaries and expenses total in P.L. 113-76 for FY2014 is $657.4 million, $44.5 million more than FY2013 (+7.3%).

Table 14. Rural Development Appropriations: Totals by Agency

(budget authority in millions of dollars)

 

FY2010

FY2011

FY2012

FY2013

FY2014

Change from FY2013 to FY2014

Program

P.L. 111-80

P.L. 112-10

P.L. 112-55

P.L. 113-6 post-sequester

Admin. request

House-reported H.R. 2410

Senate-reported S. 1244

Enacted P.L. 113-76

$

%

Salaries and expenses (direct)

202.0

191.6

182.0

192.1

204.7

201.7

204.7

203.4

+11.3

+5.9%

Transfers from RHS, RBCS, RUS

513.5

496.7

471.9

420.9

456.9

438.2

456.9

454.0

+33.2

+7.9%

Subtotal, salaries and exp.

715.5

688.3

653.9

613.0

661.5

639.9

661.5

657.4

+44.5

+7.3%

Rural Housing Service

1,424.2

1,224.0

1,090.3

1,031.1

1,132.2

1,144.3

1,184.7

1,279.6

+248.6

+24.1%

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

184.8

127.8

109.3

114.2

149.3

96.1

134.1

130.2

+15.9

+14.0%

Rural Utilities Service

653.4

596.7

551.0

520.8

347.6

487.9

493.6

501.6

-19.3

-3.7%

Office of the Under Secretary

0.9

0.9

0.8

0.8

0.9

0.9

0.9

0.9

+0.1

+7.7%

Total, Rural Development

2,978.8

2,637.8

2,405.2

2,279.9

2,291.5

2,369.1

2,474.8

2,569.7

+289.8

+12.7%

Alternate total (including rescissions)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less rescission of Cushion of Credit

-44.5

-207.0

-155.0

-180.0

-155.0

-180.0

-180.0

-172.0

+8.0

-4.4%

Net, Rural Development (in cmte table)

2,934.3

2,430.8

2,250.2

2,099.9

2,136.5

2,189.1

2,294.8

2,397.7

+297.8

+14.2%

Source: CRS, compiled from appropriations committee tables in the joint explanatory statements or committee reports for P.L. 113-76, H.R. 2410, S. 1244, P.L. 113-6, P.L. 112-55, P.L. 112-10, and P.L. 111-80. Post-sequestration amounts for FY2013 were obtained from the USDA FY2013 Operating Plan (at http://www.dm.usda.gov/foia/docs/USDA_Operating_Plan.pdf) and USDA Office of Budget and Program Analysis unpublished tables, July 2013).

a. Amounts for the Rural Business Cooperative Service in this report are before the rescission from the Cushion of Credit account. This allows the agency total to remain positive. Appropriations committee report tables show the rescission in the agency section, causing the agency total to be less than zero. This CRS report includes the Cushion of Credit rescission in the General Provisions section with other rescissions (Table 5).

Rural Housing Service (RHS)

P.L. 113-76 provides $1.28 billion in budget authority for RHS programs (after transfers of salary and expenses), $248.6 million more than in FY2013 (+24.1%). This is $95 million more than recommended by the Senate bill and $135.3 million more than the House bill (Table 14). This level of budget authority will support $27.4 billion in housing loans in FY2014, $73 million (+0.3%) more than in FY2013.

The largest loan account, representing over 90% of RHS's total loan authority, is the single-family housing loan program (Section 502 of the Housing Act of 1949). P.L. 113-76 provides $24.9 billion in loan authorization for Section 502 direct and guaranteed loans. This is $60 million more than FY2013 for the direct 502 loans and the same as FY2013 for the 502 loan guarantee program ($24 billion). The Section 504 Very Low-Income Housing Repair loan programs receive an appropriation of $2.2 million to support $26.3 million in loans. This is approximately the same loan authorization level as FY2013 ($26.1 million) and about $1.4 million less in budget authority than for FY2013 ($3.6). The Multi-Family Housing loan guarantee program (Section 538) has loan authority of $150 million for FY2014, the same as for FY2013. The enacted appropriation provides $28.4 million in loan authority for the Section 515 rental housing program, and $6.6 million in subsidies. This is nearly the same loan authorization level for the program in FY2013 ($29.1 million), but $3.7 million less in budget authority (-35%).

For the Rental Assistance Program grants (Section 521), P.L. 113-76 provides $1.11 billion in new budget authority, an increase of $275.7 million from FY2013 (+33%), and $97.9 million more than recommended by the House bill and $94.9 million more than the Senate bill. This is by far the largest budget authority line item in RHS, accounting for 87% of the total RHS budget authority appropriation. For Mutual and Self-Help Housing Grants, P.L. 113-76 provides $25 million, $2.7 million less (9.8%) than FY2013; for Rural Housing Assistance grants, $32.2 million, $1.6 million more (5.2%) than FY2013.

P.L. 113-76 provides $32.5 million in budget authority for the Rural Community Facilities account. The program provides direct loans, loan guarantees, and grants for "essential community facilities" in rural areas with less than 20,000 in population.89 This amount is $2.5 million more than enacted for FY2013 (+8.3%). For FY2014, the Community Facilities budget includes $13 million in grants and $3.8 million to subsidize loan guarantees. Loan authority for the loan guarantee program is $59.5 million. There was no appropriation for subsidies to the direct loan program, which had a loan authorization level of $2.2 billion. This is the same loan authorization level as FY2013. The appropriation also provides new budget authority for the Rural Community Development Initiative ($6.0 million), the Economic Impact Initiative Grants ($5.8 million), and grants to tribal colleges ($4.0 million). The House bill had proposed no appropriation for the Economic Impact Initiative grants.

Table 15. Rural Housing Service Appropriations

(budget authority in millions of dollars)

 

FY2010

FY2011

FY2012

FY2013

FY2014

Change from FY2013 to FY2014

Program

P.L. 111-80

P.L. 112-10

P.L. 112-55

P.L. 113-6 post-sequester

Admin. request

House-reported H.R. 2410

Senate-reported S. 1244

Enacted P.L. 113-76

$

%

Rural Housing Insurance Fund (RHIF) programs

Administrative expenses (transfer)

468.6

453.5

430.8

383.3

417.7

400.3

417.7

415.1

+31.8

+8.3%

Single family direct loans (§502)

40.7

70.1

42.6

50.2

9.8

22.3

24.5

24.5

-25.7

-51.2%

Loan authority

1,121.5

1,121.4

900.0

840.1

360.0

820.2

900.0

900.0

+59.9

+7.1%

Single family guaranteed loansa

172.8

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

 

 

Loan authority

12,000.0

24,000.0

24,000.0

24,000.0

24,000.0

24,000.0

24,000.0

24,000.0

+0.0

+0.0%

Other RHIF programsb

45.1

51.6

37.6

29.3

22.8

21.9

22.8

22.8

-6.4

-22.0%

Loan authorityb

281.8

171.0

240.3

241.7

243.6

239.9

248.6

248.6

+6.8

+2.8%

Subtotal, RHIF

727.2

575.2

511.0

462.7

450.3

444.5

465.0

462.4

-0.3

-0.1%

Loan authority

13,403.3

25,292.4

25,140.3

25,081.8

24,603.6

25,060.1

25,148.6

25,148.6

+66.8

+0.3%

Other housing programs

Rental assistance (§521)

968.6

948.7

900.7

834.3

1,012.1

1,012.1

1,015.1

1,110.0

+275.7

+33.0%

Other rental assistancec

11.4

5.0

4.0

2.8

3.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

-2.8

-100.0%

Multifamily housing revitalization

43.2

29.9

13.0

26.4

32.6

27.1

32.6

32.6

+6.2

+23.5%

Mutual & self-help housing grants

41.9

36.9

30.0

27.7

10.0

17.1

25.0

25.0

-2.7

-9.7%

Rural housing assistance grants

45.5

40.3

33.1

30.6

25.0

18.6

32.2

32.2

+1.7

+5.5%

Rural Community Facilities Program

Community Facilities: Grants

20.4

15.0

11.4

12.1

13.0

13.0

13.0

13.0

+0.9

+7.8%

Community Facilities: Direct loans

3.9

3.9

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

 

 

Loan authority

295.0

290.5

1,300.0

2,200.0

1,500.0

2,200.0

1,500.0

2,200.0

+0.0

+0.0%

Community Facilities: Guarantees

6.6

6.6

5.0

3.6

0.0

3.0

3.8

3.8

+0.2

+4.9%

Loan authority

206.4

167.7

105.7

53.3

0.0

47.3

59.5

59.5

+6.2

+11.7%

Rural community dev. initiative

6.3

5.0

3.6

5.7

0.0

6.0

6.0

6.0

+0.3

+5.1%

Economic impact initiative grants

13.9

7.0

5.9

5.5

0.0

0.0

5.8

5.8

+0.3

+4.9%

Tribal college grants

4.0

4.0

3.4

3.1

4.0

3.3

4.0

4.0

+0.9

+28.0%

Subtotal, Rural Comm. Facilities

55.0

41.4

29.3

30.0

17.0

25.3

32.5

32.5

+2.6

+8.5%

Loan authority

501.4

458.3

1,405.7

2,253.3

1,500.0

2,247.3

1,559.5

2,259.5

+6.2

+0.3%

Total, Rural Housing Service

Budget authority

1,892.8

1,677.5

1,521.1

1,414.3

1,549.9

1,544.6

1,602.4

1,694.7

+280.4

+19.8%

Less transfer salaries & exp.

-468.6

-453.5

-430.8

-383.3

-417.7

-400.3

-417.7

-415.1

-31.8

+8.3%

Rural Housing Service (programs)

1,424.2

1,224.0

1,090.3

1,031.1

1,132.2

1,144.3

1,184.7

1,279.6

+248.6

+24.1%

Loan authority

13,904.7

25,750.7

26,546.0

27,335.1

26,103.6

27,307.4

26,708.1

27,408.1

+73.0

+0.3%

Source: CRS, compiled from appropriations committee tables. Post-sequestration amounts for FY2013 were obtained from the USDA FY2013 Operating Plan.

Notes: Loan authority is the amount of loans that can be made and is not added to budget authority in the totals.

a. This program became self-funding after enactment of higher loan guarantee fees being charged to banks (§102 of P.L. 111-212).

b. Includes Section 504 housing repair, Section 515 rental housing, Section524 site loans, Section 538 multi-family housing guarantees, single and multi-family housing credit sales, Section 523 self-help housing land development, and farm labor housing,

c. Section 502(c)(5)(D) eligible households, Section 515 new construction, and farm labor housing new construction.

Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS)

P.L. 113-76 provides $134.6 million in FY2014 budget authority to the RBS before the Cushion of Credit rescission (Table 15). After transferring salaries and expenses, a net $130.2 million of budget authority will support the RBS loan and grant program in FY2014 (+$16.0 million more, or +14%, from FY2013). If the Cushion of Credit rescission is incorporated, the RBS net budget authority is $-37.4 million.90 The enacted appropriation provides $1.02 billion in loan authority for the various RBS loan programs (+7.2% more than FY2011).

For the Rural Business Program account, P.L. 113-76 provides $96.6 million in budget authority, $16.8 million more than FY2013 (+21.0%). The Rural Business Program account includes the Business and Industry Loan Guarantee program ($67.0 in budget authority), the Rural Business Enterprise Grant program ($24.3 million), the Rural Business Opportunity Grant program ($2.3 million), and Delta Regional Authority grant program ($3.0 million). With the exception of the Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program's budget authority, which is $14.7 million more than FY2013 (+28.1%), the other accounts are very close to their FY2013 enacted levels.

P.L. 113-76 provides $4.1 million in budget authority to support $18.9 million in loans for the Intermediary Relending Program, also known as the Rural Development Loan Program. This loan level is $1.5 million more (+8.6%) in loan authority than FY2011 and $1.5 million less in budget authority. For Rural Cooperative Grants, P.L. 113-76 provides a total of $26.1 million, nearly the same as FY2013. This appropriation is divided among Cooperative Development Grants ($5.8 million), Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas ($2.2 million), Value-Added Product Grants ($15.0 million), and grants to assist minority producers ($3.0 million). The FY2014 appropriation for Cooperative Grants is about $700,000 more than FY2013 ($6.5 million), and the other accounts are nearly the same as for FY2013.

For the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, P.L. 113-76 provides no appropriation, the same as recommended by the House and Senate bills. The Administration had requested $7.4 million for REAP and $0 for the Microentrepreneur program.

Table 16. Rural Business-Cooperative Service Appropriations

(budget authority in millions of dollars)

 

FY2010

FY2011

FY2012

FY2013

FY2014

Change from FY2013 to FY2014

Program

P.L. 111-80

P.L. 112-10

P.L. 112-55

P.L. 113-6 post-sequester

Admin. request

House-reported H.R. 2410

Senate-reported S. 1244

Enacted P.L. 113-6

$

%

Rural Business Program Account

Guar. Bus. & Ind. (B&I) Loans

52.9

44.9

45.3

52.3

51.8

51.8

67.0

67.0

+14.6

+27.9%

Loan authority

993.0

889.1

812.6

890.2

740.7

740.7

958.1

958.1

+67.9

+7.6%

Rural bus. enterprise grants

38.7

34.9

24.3

22.6

0.0

20.0

24.3

24.3

+1.7

+7.6%

Rural bus. opportunity grants

2.5

2.5

2.3

2.1

0.0

0.0

2.3

2.3

+0.2

+7.6%

Delta regional authority grants

3.0

3.0

2.9

2.8

0.0

0.0

5.0

3.0

+0.2

+7.6%

Rural Business and Cooperative Grants

 

 

 

 

55.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

 

 

Rural Development Loan Fund Program

Admin. expenses (transfer)

4.9

4.9

4.7

4.1

4.5

4.3

4.5

4.4

+0.3

+8.5%

Loan subsidy

8.5

7.4

6.0

5.6

4.1

4.1

4.1

4.1

-1.5

-26.9%

Loan authority

33.5

19.2

17.7

17.4

18.9

18.9

18.9

18.9

+1.5

+8.4%

Rural Econ. Dev.: Loan authority

33.1

33.1

33.1

33.1

33.1

33.1

33.1

33.1

+0.0

+0.0%

Rural coop. development grants

34.9

30.2

25.1

25.7

17.3

17.3

26.1

26.1

+0.4

+1.4%

Rural Microenterprise Inv.: Grants

2.5

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

 

 

Loan subsidy

2.5

0.0

0.0

0.0

1.4

0.0

1.4

0.0

 

 

Loan authority

11.8

0.0

0.0

0.0

22.4

0.0

22.4

0.0

 

 

Rural Energy for America: Grants

19.7

2.5

1.7

0.0

7.4

0.0

0.0

0.0

 

 

Loan subsidy

19.7

2.5

1.7

3.1

12.3

3.0

4.0

3.5

+0.4

+11.6%

Loan authority

144.2

10.8

6.5

13.1

45.0

14.2

14.6

12.8

-0.3

-2.3%

Total, Rural Business-Cooperative Service

Budget authoritya

189.7

132.8

113.9

118.3

153.7

100.4

138.5

134.6

+16.3

+13.8%

Less transfer salaries & exp.

-4.9

-4.9

-4.7

-4.1

-4.5

-4.3

-4.5

-4.4

-0.3

+8.5%

Rural Bus.-Coop. Svc. (programs)

184.8

127.8

109.3

114.2

149.3

96.1

134.1

130.2

+15.9

+14.0%

Loan authority

1,215.7

952.1

869.8

953.7

860.1

806.9

1,047.1

1,022.8

+69.1

+7.2%

Alternate total (including rescission)a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Budget authority

189.7

132.8

113.9

118.3

153.7

100.4

138.5

134.6

+16.3

+13.8%

Less rescission of Cushion of Credit

-44.5

-207.0

-155.0

-180.0

-155.0

-180.0

-180.0

-172.0

+8.0

-4.4%

Net, Rural Bus.-Coop. Svc. (in cmte reports)

145.3

-74.2

-41.1

-61.7

-1.3

-79.6

-41.5

-37.4

+24.3

-39.4%

Source: CRS, compiled from appropriations committee tables in the joint explanatory statements or committee reports for P.L. 113-76, H.R. 2410, S. 1244, P.L. 113-6, P.L. 112-55, P.L. 112-10, and P.L. 111-80. Post-sequestration amounts for FY2013 were obtained from the USDA FY2013 Operating Plan (at http://www.dm.usda.gov/foia/docs/USDA_Operating_Plan.pdf) and USDA Office of Budget and Program Analysis unpublished tables, July 2013).

Notes: Loan authority is the amount of loans that can be made and is not added to budget authority in the totals.

a. Amounts for the Rural Business Cooperative Service in this report are before the rescission from the Cushion of Credit account. This allows the agency total to remain positive. Appropriations committee report tables show the rescission in the agency section, causing the agency total to be less than zero. This CRS report includes the Cushion of Credit rescission in the General Provisions section with other rescissions (Table 5).

Rural Utilities Service (RUS)

P.L. 113-76 provides $501.6 million in budget authority for the Rural Utilities Service. After transferring salaries and expenses, the net appropriation for loans and grant programs is $501.6 million, $19.2 million (-3.6%) less than FY2013 (Table 16).

Loan subsidies and grants under the Rural Water and Waste Disposal Program account represent the largest share of FY2014 budget authority under RUS programs (approximately 92% of total budget authority). The enacted bill provides $462.4 million in budget authority, $22.1 million less than FY2013 (-4.5%). This supports $1.29 billion in direct and guaranteed loans, $269.7 million more than FY2013 (+26.4%). The budget authority is divided among the following programs: (1) Water/Waste Water grants ($345.5 million); (2) Solid Waste Management grant program ($4.0 million); Individual Well Water grants ($993,000); and Water and Waste Water revolving fund ($1.0). P.L. 113-76 also provides $10.0 million for High Energy Cost grants ($9.2 million in FY2013).

The enacted appropriation authorizes $5.5 billion in electric loans, $1.6 billion (-22.5%) less than FY2013. Most of the recommended loan authority is for direct Federal Finance Bank electric loans ($5.0 billion).

Under the Distance Learning/Telemedicine program, P.L. 113-76 provides $24.3 million in grant support, the same as the House and Senate bill recommendations, and approximately $1.2 million more than FY2013. For the rural broadband program, the FY2014 appropriation is $4.5 million for direct loan subsidies and $10.4 million for grants. The enacted subsidy level is $1 million less than recommended by the House bill and $500,000 less than the Senate measure. Together, these three distance learning, telemedicine, and broadband accounts are about $3 million more than FY2013. Loan subsidies would support $34.5 million in broadband loans, a little more than half what the Administration requested, $8 million less than recommended by the House bill and $4 million less than the Senate measure.

Table 17. Rural Utilities Service Appropriations

(budget authority in millions of dollars)

 

FY2010

FY2011

FY2012

FY2013

FY2014

Change from FY2013 to FY2014

 

P.L. 111-80

P.L. 112-10

P.L. 112-55

P.L. 113-6 post-sequester

Admin. request

House-reported H.R. 2410

Senate-reported S. 1244

Enacted P.L. 113-76

$

%

Rural Water and Waste Disposal Program

Loan subsidy and grants

568.7

527.9

513.0

484.5

304.0

448.0

455.0

462.4

-22.1

-4.6%

Direct loan authority

1,022.2

898.3

730.7

923.7

1,200.0

1,200.0

1,200.0

1,200.0

+276.3

+29.9%

P.L. 83-566 loans

0.0

0.0

0.0

40.0

0.0

0.0

40.0

40.0

+0.0

+0.0%

Guaranteed loan authority

75.0

75.0

62.9

56.6

0.0

0.0

50.0

50.0

-6.6

-11.7%

Rural Electric and Telecommunication Loans

Admin. expenses (transfer)

40.0

38.3

36.4

33.5

34.7

33.6

34.7

34.5

+1.0

+3.0%

Telecommunication loan authority

690.0

690.0

690.0

690.0

690.0

690.0

690.0

690.0

+0.0

+0.0%

Guar. underwriting loan subsidy

 

0.7

0.6

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

 

 

Electricity loan authority

7,100.0

7,100.0

7,024.3

7,100.0

4,000.0

4,500.0

5,500.0

5,500.0

-1,600.0

-22.5%

Distance Learning, Telemedicine, Broadband

Distance learning & telemedicine

37.8

32.4

21.0

23.1

25.0

24.3

24.3

24.3

+1.2

+5.4%

Broadband: Grants

18.0

13.4

10.4

9.6

10.4

10.1

10.4

10.4

+0.8

+8.1%

Broadband: Direct loan subsidy

29.0

22.3

6.0

3.7

8.3

5.5

4.0

4.5

+0.8

+21.6%

Direct loan authority

400.0

400.0

169.0

39.1

63.4

42.1

30.7

34.5

-4.6

-11.7%

Subtotal, Rural Utilities Service

Budget authority

693.4

635.0

587.3

554.3

382.3

521.5

528.3

536.0

-18.3

-3.3%

Less transfer salaries & exp.

-40.0

-38.3

-36.4

-33.5

-34.7

-33.6

-34.7

-34.5

-1.0

+3.0%

Total, Rural Utilities Service

653.4

596.7

551.0

520.8

347.6

487.9

493.6

501.6

-19.3

-3.7%

Loan authority

9,287.2

9,163.3

8,676.9

8,849.4

5,953.4

6,432.1

7,510.7

7,514.5

-1,334.9

-15.1%

Source: CRS, compiled from appropriations committee tables in the joint explanatory statements or committee reports for P.L. 113-76, H.R. 2410, S. 1244, P.L. 113-76, P.L. 112-55, P.L. 112-10, and P.L. 111-80. Post-sequestration amounts for FY2013 were obtained from the USDA FY2013 Operating Plan (at http://www.dm.usda.gov/foia/docs/USDA_Operating_Plan.pdf) and USDA Office of Budget and Program Analysis unpublished tables, July 2013.

Notes: Loan authority is the amount of loans that can be made and is not added to budget authority in the totals.

Domestic Food Assistance91

Funding for domestic food assistance represents over two-thirds of USDA's budget. This funding is largely for open-ended appropriated mandatory programs; that is, funding that depends directly on program participation and, in some cases, indexing for inflation. The biggest mandatory programs include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp program) and the child nutrition programs (including the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program).

The three main discretionary budget items are the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), and federal nutrition program administration. For background on the programs discussed in this section, see CRS Report R42353, Domestic Food Assistance: Summary of Programs.

The enacted FY2014 appropriation provides a total of $108.6 billion for domestic food assistance programs.92 The appropriated amount is approximately $2 billion more than requested by the Administration in February ($106.4 billion); this increase is primarily a result of more recently updated estimates to SNAP and the Child Nutrition account. Enacted totals for domestic food assistance programs are approximately 4.3% above FY2013 levels. Table 18 displays selected programs' enacted appropriations for FY2010 through FY2014, including the President's request, House, and Senate proposals for FY2014.

SNAP and Other Programs under the Food and Nutrition Act

Appropriations under the Food and Nutrition Act (formerly the Food Stamp Act) support (1) SNAP (and related grants), (2) a Nutrition Assistance Block Grant for Puerto Rico and nutrition assistance block grants to American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (all in lieu of the SNAP), (3) the cost of food commodities and administrative/distribution expenses under the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), (4) the cost of commodities for TEFAP (but not administrative/distribution expenses, which are covered under the Commodity Assistance Program budget account), and (5) Community Food Projects.

The enacted FY2014 appropriation provides a total of $82.2 billion for programs under the Food and Nutrition Act. This funding amount is a $4.9 billion increase (+6%) over the total amount provided in FY2013.93 The law appropriated $3 billion for the SNAP contingency reserve fund, as requested by the House, but less than the $5 billion requested by the Administration and the Senate bill.

The Joint Explanatory Statement (sometimes called the conference report) describes the FY2014 appropriations for Food and Nutrition Act programs (Table 18):

  • Approximately $79 billion for SNAP and related grants to states, including $71.9 billion for SNAP benefits and a $3 billion contingency reserve fund.
  • $1.9 billion for grants for Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands,
  • $269 million for TEFAP commodities (with permission to use up to 10% of this amount for distribution costs),
  • $5 million for Community Food Projects,94 and
  • $104 million for FDPIR.

The enacted FY2014 appropriation continued an $11 million reduction in SNAP employment and training (E&T) funds to $79 million. However this change in mandatory spending was undone by Section 4022 of the subsequently enacted 2014 farm bill, which restored the funding to $90 million per year (see the footnote on the E&T line in Table 4).

Joint Explanatory Statement: SNAP Account

Aside from the funding levels the Joint Explanatory Statement includes directives related to programs in the SNAP account. The statement expresses concern about government-sponsored SNAP outreach activities and emphasizes that USDA should maintain restrictions on the SNAP purchase of hot, prepared foods. It also states that any USDA reports required by either the House or the Senate bills are still required. Committee report language, or, in this case, joint statement language, does not hold the force of law that the legislation itself does.

What About the SNAP Provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill?

SNAP is an appropriated mandatory program. Through appropriations laws like P.L. 113-76, Congress appropriates funding for USDA to provide SNAP benefits and related services; but the exact level of spending will depend upon the parameters of the Food and Nutrition Act authorizing law. In particular, these parameters include SNAP eligibility and benefit calculation rules.

The Food and Nutrition Act sets out the rules for SNAP and related programs, and the 2014 farm bill (Agricultural Act of 2014, P.L. 113-79) recently reauthorized this act through the end of FY2018. The 2014 farm bill made some changes to how SNAP benefits are calculated as well as some mandatory funding levels (such as TEFAP commodities and SNAP Employment & Training).

The 2014 farm bill's changes to SNAP authorizing law do not affect the amount of funding appropriated to the SNAP account in total, but some of the changes can be expected to affect USDA's authority to spend the appropriated funding.

For further detail on changes, see:

Child Nutrition Programs

Appropriations under the child nutrition account fund a number of programs and activities covered by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act. These include the National School Lunch Program, School B