Budget Issues Shaping the 2018 Farm Bill

The farm bill is an omnibus, multi-year law that governs an array of agricultural and food programs. It provides an opportunity for policymakers to periodically address a broad range of agricultural and food issues. The farm bill has typically undergone reauthorization about every five years. The 115th Congress has considered a new farm bill but has not enacted one to date. Both the House and the Senate passed versions of a 2018 farm bill (H.R. 2) in June 2018. Conference proceedings officially began in September 2018 but have not reached agreement. The farm bill provides an opportunity for Congress to choose how much support, if any, to provide for various agriculture and nutrition programs and how to allocate it among competing constituencies. Under congressional budgeting rules, many programs are assumed to continue beyond the end of a farm bill. From a budgetary perspective, this provides funding to reauthorize programs, reallocate funding to other programs, or be taken for deficit reduction. Budget for a 2018 Farm Bill (dollars in millions, FY2019-FY2028)

CBO score

Farm bill titles CBO baseline House-passed Senate-passed

Commodities 61,151 +284 -408

Conservation 59,754 -795 +0

Trade 3,624 +470 +515

Nutrition 663,828 -1,426 +94

Credit -4,558 +0 +0

Rural Development 168 +0 -2,340

Research 604 +250 +685

Forestry 10 +0 +5

Energy 612 -517 +375

Horticulture 1,547 +10 +626

Crop Insurance 78,037 -161 -2

Miscellaneous 2,423 +566 +517

Subtotal 867,200 -1,320 +68

Increase in Revenue

+465 +68

Total 867,200 -1,785 0

Source: CRS, compiled using the CBO Baseline by Title (unpublished; April 2018), based on the CBO baseline (April 2018), and the CBO cost estimates for H.R. 2 as passed by the House and as passed by the Senate (July 24, 2018).

The farm bill authorizes programs in two spending categories: mandatory spending and discretionary spending. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline is a projection at a particular point in time of future federal spending on mandatory programs under current law. When a new bill is proposed that would affect mandatory spending, the cost impact (score) is measured in relation to the baseline. Changes that increase spending relative to the baseline have a positive score; those that decrease spending relative to the baseline have a negative score. Federal budget rules such as “PayGo” may require budgetary offsets to balance new spending so that there is no increase in the federal deficit. Discretionary spending may be authorized in a farm bill but is not actually provided until budget decisions are made in a future annual appropriations act. Since 2000, farm bill budgets have varied: The 2002 farm bill increased overall spending, the 2008 farm bill was essentially budget neutral, the 2014 farm bill reduced spending, and the 2018 farm bill is projected to be essentially budget neutral. The April 2018 CBO baseline for farm bill programs, used as the official benchmark in 2018, contains $867 billion over FY2019-FY2028—77% of which stems from the nutrition title ($664 billion) and its largest program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The remaining $203 billion baseline is for agricultural programs, mostly in crop insurance, farm commodity programs, and conservation. Other titles of the farm bill contribute about 1% of the baseline, some of which are funded primarily with discretionary spending. The budgetary impact of the 2018 farm bill proposals are measured relative to the CBO baseline—that is, what the 2014 farm bill (current law) would have spent had it continued. Relative to the baseline, the House-passed bill would reduce federal outlays by $1.8 billion over 10 years (-0.2%), and the Senate-passed bill would remain budget neutral (+0%) over the same 10-year period. These overall relatively small scores are the net result of sometimes relatively larger increases and reductions across individual titles. Some of the overall scores within a single title of the farm bill are the net result of sometimes large changes in individual programs that may reflect changes in the direction of policy. The House bill would achieve its overall 10-year net reduction primarily by reducing net outlays in four titles (Nutrition, Conservation, Energy, and Crop Insurance). It would increase spending by less than the total of these reductions across five other titles (Miscellaneous, Trade, Commodities, Research, and Horticulture). The Nutrition title has provisions that sum to a $22 billion reduction over 10 years (including those for work requirements) and provisions that would add to $20.6 billion in increased spending. Similarly, the Conservation title has provisions that sum to a $12.6 billion reduction (including repealing the Conservation Stewardship Program), as well as provisions that add spending totaling $11.8 billion. The Senate bill would achieve a budget-neutral outcome by reducing net spending primarily in the Rural Development title but also in the Commodities and Crop Insurance titles. It would increase spending across seven titles (Research, Horticulture, Miscellaneous, Trade, Energy, Nutrition, and Forestry). For some of the programs without baseline, both the House-passed and the Senate-passed bills would provide continuing funding and, in some cases, permanent baseline.

Budget Issues Shaping the 2018 Farm Bill

Updated December 6, 2018 (R45425)
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Contents

Summary

The farm bill is an omnibus, multi-year law that governs an array of agricultural and food programs. It provides an opportunity for policymakers to periodically address a broad range of agricultural and food issues. The farm bill has typically undergone reauthorization about every five years. The 115th Congress has considered a new farm bill but has not enacted one to date. Both the House and the Senate passed versions of a 2018 farm bill (H.R. 2) in June 2018. Conference proceedings officially began in September 2018 but have not reached agreement.

The farm bill provides an opportunity for Congress to choose how much support, if any, to provide for various agriculture and nutrition programs and how to allocate it among competing constituencies. Under congressional budgeting rules, many programs are assumed to continue beyond the end of a farm bill. From a budgetary perspective, this provides funding to reauthorize programs, reallocate funding to other programs, or be taken for deficit reduction.

Budget for a 2018 Farm Bill

(dollars in millions, FY2019-FY2028)

 

 

CBO score

Farm bill titles

CBO baseline

House-passed

Senate-passed

Commodities

61,151

+284

-408

Conservation

59,754

-795

+0

Trade

3,624

+470

+515

Nutrition

663,828

-1,426

+94

Credit

-4,558

+0

+0

Rural Development

168

+0

-2,340

Research

604

+250

+685

Forestry

10

+0

+5

Energy

612

-517

+375

Horticulture

1,547

+10

+626

Crop Insurance

78,037

-161

-2

Miscellaneous

2,423

+566

+517

Subtotal

867,200

-1,320

+68

Increase in Revenue

-

+465

+68

Total

867,200

-1,785

0

Source: CRS, compiled using the CBO Baseline by Title (unpublished; April 2018), based on the CBO baseline (April 2018), and the CBO cost estimates for H.R. 2 as passed by the House and as passed by the Senate (July 24, 2018).

The farm bill authorizes programs in two spending categories: mandatory spending and discretionary spending. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline is a projection at a particular point in time of future federal spending on mandatory programs under current law. When a new bill is proposed that would affect mandatory spending, the cost impact (score) is measured in relation to the baseline. Changes that increase spending relative to the baseline have a positive score; those that decrease spending relative to the baseline have a negative score. Federal budget rules such as "PayGo" may require budgetary offsets to balance new spending so that there is no increase in the federal deficit. Discretionary spending may be authorized in a farm bill but is not actually provided until budget decisions are made in a future annual appropriations act.

Since 2000, farm bill budgets have varied: The 2002 farm bill increased overall spending, the 2008 farm bill was essentially budget neutral, the 2014 farm bill reduced spending, and the 2018 farm bill is projected to be essentially budget neutral.

The April 2018 CBO baseline for farm bill programs, used as the official benchmark in 2018, contains $867 billion over FY2019-FY2028—77% of which stems from the nutrition title ($664 billion) and its largest program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The remaining $203 billion baseline is for agricultural programs, mostly in crop insurance, farm commodity programs, and conservation. Other titles of the farm bill contribute about 1% of the baseline, some of which are funded primarily with discretionary spending.

The budgetary impact of the 2018 farm bill proposals are measured relative to the CBO baseline—that is, what the 2014 farm bill (current law) would have spent had it continued. Relative to the baseline, the House-passed bill would reduce federal outlays by $1.8 billion over 10 years (-0.2%), and the Senate-passed bill would remain budget neutral (+0%) over the same 10-year period. These overall relatively small scores are the net result of sometimes relatively larger increases and reductions across individual titles. Some of the overall scores within a single title of the farm bill are the net result of sometimes large changes in individual programs that may reflect changes in the direction of policy.

  • The House bill would achieve its overall 10-year net reduction primarily by reducing net outlays in four titles (Nutrition, Conservation, Energy, and Crop Insurance). It would increase spending by less than the total of these reductions across five other titles (Miscellaneous, Trade, Commodities, Research, and Horticulture). The Nutrition title has provisions that sum to a $22 billion reduction over 10 years (including those for work requirements) and provisions that would add to $20.6 billion in increased spending. Similarly, the Conservation title has provisions that sum to a $12.6 billion reduction (including repealing the Conservation Stewardship Program), as well as provisions that add spending totaling $11.8 billion.
  • The Senate bill would achieve a budget-neutral outcome by reducing net spending primarily in the Rural Development title but also in the Commodities and Crop Insurance titles. It would increase spending across seven titles (Research, Horticulture, Miscellaneous, Trade, Energy, Nutrition, and Forestry).

For some of the programs without baseline, both the House-passed and the Senate-passed bills would provide continuing funding and, in some cases, permanent baseline.


The farm bill is an omnibus, multi-year law that governs an array of agricultural and food programs. It provides an opportunity for policymakers to periodically address a broad range of agricultural and food issues. The farm bill has typically undergone reauthorization about every five years.1

From its beginning in the 1930s, farm bills have focused primarily on farm commodity programs to support a handful of staple commodities—corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, rice, dairy, and sugar. In recent decades, farm bills have expanded in scope to include a Nutrition title since 1973 and since then Conservation, Horticulture, Bioenergy, Credit, Research, and Rural Development titles, among others.

Recent farm bills have been subject to various procedural hurdles, such as insufficient votes to pass the House floor, presidential vetoes, or—as in the case of 2008 and 2014 farm bills—short-term extensions.2 The current farm bill (the Agricultural Act of 2014, P.L. 113-79) has many provisions that expire in 2018.3

Farm Bill Status

The 115th Congress has begun but not finished a new farm bill. An initial House vote on H.R. 2 (the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018) in May 2018 failed by vote of 198-213, but floor procedures allowed that vote to be reconsidered, and it passed in June by a second vote of 213-211. The Senate passed its bill as an amendment to H.R. 2 (the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018) in June 2018 by a vote of 86-11. Conference proceedings officially began on September 5, 2018, but have not reached agreement.4

Farm Bills from a Budget Perspective

The farm bill provides an opportunity for Congress to choose how much support to provide for agriculture and nutrition and how to allocate it among competing constituencies. Generally, farm bills authorize spending in two categories: mandatory and discretionary. From a budgetary perspective, many programs are assumed to continue beyond the end of a farm bill, even though their authorizations may expire. That projection—for certain mandatory programs as explained below—provides funding to reauthorize programs, reallocate funding to other programs, or take offsets for deficit reduction. For new programs, those without baseline, or discretionary programs, funding must come from other means.

Types of Spending Authorized in the Farm Bill

Mandatory spending. A farm bill authorizes outlays and pays for them with multiyear budget estimates when the law is enacted. Budget enforcement is through "baseline" projections under current law, "scores" of the effect of proposed bills, and "PayGo" budget rules that may prevent deficit increases. (See CRS Report R44763, Present Trends and the Evolution of Mandatory Spending.)

Discretionary authorizations. A farm bill establishes parameters for discretionary programs and authorizes them to receive funding in subsequent appropriations acts but does not provide or assure actual funding. Budget enforcement is through future appropriations and budget resolutions. (See CRS Report R42388, The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction.)

Recent farm bills have faced various budget situations, including spending more under a budget surplus, cutting spending for deficit reduction, and remaining basically budget neutral—with or without offsets. For example

  • The 2002 farm bill (the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, P.L. 107-171) was enacted under a budget surplus that allowed it to make changes that were projected to increase spending by $73 billion over a 10-year budget window, more than half of which was for the farm commodity programs.5
  • The 2008 farm bill (the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, P.L. 110-246) was officially budget neutral, though it included $10 billion of offsets over 10 years from tax-related and other provisions that allowed it to increase spending on the Nutrition, Conservation, and Disaster titles.6
  • The 2014 farm bill (the Agricultural Act of 2014, P.L. 113-79) was enacted under deficit reduction and budget sequestration that influenced its legislative development. It made changes that projected a net reduction of $16 billion over 10 years ($23 billion including sequestration).7
  • The 2018 farm bill—the current bill under consideration (H.R. 2)—is being held to a budget-neutral position, though budget amounts may be reallocated across programs within issue areas and across titles of the farm bill (Table 1).

Mandatory spending is authorized throughout the farm bill, but four titles presently account for about 99% of the mandatory farm bill spending: Commodity, Nutrition, Crop Insurance, and Conservation.8 The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and crop insurance have their own mandatory spending sources, but the farm commodity programs, conservation, and most other mandatory outlays are paid through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC).9

Discretionary spending is authorized throughout the farm bill, including most rural development, credit, and research programs, among others. Some smaller research, bioenergy, and rural development programs are authorized to receive both mandatory and discretionary funding. Most agency operations (salaries and expenses) are financed with discretionary funds. Discretionary appropriations are made through the annual Agriculture appropriations act.10

While both types of programs are significant, mandatory programs often dominate the farm bill debate. Therefore, the majority of this report focuses on mandatory spending.

Importance of Baseline to the Farm Bill

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline is a projection at a particular point in time of future federal spending on mandatory programs under current law. The baseline is the benchmark against which proposed changes in law are measured. The CBO develops the budget baseline under various laws and follows the supervision of the House and Senate Budget Committees.

When a new bill is proposed that would affect mandatory spending, the cost impact (score) is measured in relation to the baseline. Changes that increase spending relative to the baseline have a positive score; those that decrease spending relative to the baseline have a negative score.11

Having a baseline essentially gives programs built-in future funding if policymakers decide that the programs should continue—that is, straightforward reauthorization would not have a scoring effect (budget neutral). However, some programs do not have a continuing baseline beyond the expiration of a farm bill and do not have assured future funding. Their reauthorization would have a positive score that increases the bill's cost.

Development of the Baseline

CBO projects future government spending via its budget baselines and evaluates proposed bills via scoring estimates. The baseline incorporates domestic and international market conditions at the time the baseline is projected, government policies, and expectations for future economic conditions. Generally, a program with estimated mandatory spending in the last year of its authorization may be assumed to continue in the baseline as if there were no change in policy and it did not expire. This is the situation for most of the major, long-standing farm bill provisions such as the farm commodity programs or supplemental nutrition assistance.12 However, some programs may not be assumed to continue in the budget baseline beyond the end of a farm bill because they are either13

  • programs with estimated mandatory spending less than a minimum $50 million scoring threshold in the last year of the farm bill, or
  • new programs established after 1997 for which the Budget Committees have determined that the mandatory spending shall not extend beyond expiration. This decision may have been made in consultation with the Agriculture Committees for a number of reasons, such as to reduce the program's 10-year cost when a farm bill is written or to prevent the program from having a continuing baseline.

April 2018 CBO Baseline

The baseline for scoring the 2018 farm bill currently under consideration is the CBO baseline that was released in April 2018. This baseline is to be used until a new annual scoring baseline is released in the spring of 2019.

The April 2018 mandatory spending baseline for farm bill programs contains $867 billion over FY2019-FY2028, 77% of which is in the Nutrition title for SNAP ($664 billion). The remaining $203 billion baseline is for agricultural programs, mostly in the Crop Insurance, Farm Commodity Programs, and Conservation titles.14 Other titles contribute about 1% of the baseline because they are funded mostly with discretionary spending.

The April 2018 CBO baseline is the benchmark of available funding from which the House and Senate wrote bills for a new farm bill in 2018. The 5-year and 10-year columns in Table 1 show the CBO baseline for the titles of the 2014 farm bill over the next 10 years. (The score columns will be discussed later in "Scores of the 2018 Farm Bill Proposals".) Figure 1 illustrates the 10-year baseline by title. Table 2 adds details at the program level and with the annual projections, for the Farm Commodity Programs, Conservation, Trade, and Miscellaneous titles. Figure 2 illustrates the 10-year, program-level baseline for agriculture (non-nutrition) programs.15

Table 1. Budget for a 2018 Farm Bill: Baseline and Scores, by Title

(projected outlays in millions of dollars, 5- and 10-year totals)

 

5 years (FY2019-FY2023)

10 years (FY2019-FY2028)

Farm Bill Titles

CBO Baseline

CBO Score

CBO Baseline

CBO Score

 

 

House-Passed

Senate-Passed

 

House-Passed

Senate-Passed

Commodities

31,340

+198

-23

61,151

+284

-408

Conservation

28,715

+656

+290

59,754

-795

+0

Trade

1,809

+235

+258

3,624

+470

+515

Nutrition

325,922

+862

+224

663,828

-1,426

+94

Credit

-2,205

+0

+0

-4,558

+0

+0

Rural Developmenta

98

+0

-832

168

+0

-2,340

Research

329

+168

+426

604

+250

+685

Forestry

5

+0

+5

10

+0

+5

Energya

362

-267

+311

612

-517

+375

Horticulture

772

+10

+323

1,547

+10

+626

Crop Insurance

38,057

-70

-1

78,037

-161

-2

Miscellaneous

1,259

+553

+594

2,423

+566

+517

Subtotal

426,462

+2,344

+1,573

867,200

-1,320

+68

Increase in Revenue

-

+115

+33

-

+465

+68

Total

426,462

+2,229

+1,540

867,200

-1,785

0

Source: CRS. Compiled from the CBO Baseline by Title (unpublished; April 2018), based on the CBO baseline, https://www.cbo.gov/about/products/baseline-projections-selected-programs, April 2018, and the CBO cost estimates for H.R. 2 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2 as passed by the Senate, https://www.cbo.gov/publication/54284, July 24, 2018.

Note:

a. The House bill combined rural development and energy provisions into a Rural Infrastructure and Economic Development title. This table retains the separate titles, based on provisions, to maintain consistency with the 2014 farm bill, the CBO baseline, and the Senate bill.

Figure 1. CBO Baseline for Farm Bill Titles

(10-year projected outlays under current law, FY2019-FY2028, billions of dollars)

Source: CRS, using CBO Baseline by Title (unpublished; April 2018), based on the CBO baseline, https://www.cbo.gov/about/products/baseline-projections-selected-programs, April 2018.

Figure 2. CBO Baseline for USDA Agriculture Programs

(10-year projected outlays under current law, FY2019-FY2028, billions of dollars)

Source: CRS, using CBO Baseline by Title (unpublished; April 2018), and CBO Baseline for USDA Mandatory Farm Programs, https://www.cbo.gov/about/products/baseline-projections-selected-programs#25, April 2018.

Notes: CRP = Conservation Reserve Program, CSP = Conservation Stewardship Program, EQIP = Environmental Quality Incentives Program, ACEP = Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, RCPP = Regional Conservation Partnership Program, PLC = Price Loss Coverage, ARC = Agricultural Risk Coverage, LDP = Loan Deficiency Payments, MAP = Market Assistance Program, FFP = Food for Progress, NAP = Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, SCRI = Specialty Crop Research Initiative, SCBG = Specialty Crop Block Grants, PPDM = Plant Pest and Disease Management, REAP = Rural Energy for America Program.

Table 2. CBO Baseline for the 2018 Farm Bill, by Title and Program

(projected outlays in millions of dollars, April 2018 baseline)

 

Fiscal year

5 years

10 years

 

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

FY2019-23

FY2019-28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title I: Farm Commodity Programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agricultural Risk Coverage

2,627

2,155

464

430

479

431

463

482

505

492

6,155

8,529

Price Loss Coverage

2,727

2,653

5,742

5,006

4,574

4,639

4,603

4,854

4,558

4,566

20,702

43,921

Marketing Loan Program

58

51

51

48

45

44

43

47

48

50

254

486

Dairy

186

161

160

177

173

177

191

128

134

137

857

1,624

Disaster assistance programs

364

361

391

390

388

386

389

388

387

425

1,893

3,868

Other

524

241

228

235

251

252

244

253

255

240

1,479

2,723

Subtotal, Title I

6,487

5,621

7,035

6,286

5,910

5,930

5,934

6,151

5,886

5,910

31,340

61,151

Title II: Conservation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conservation Reserve Program

1,819

1,999

2,042

2,083

2,126

2,169

2,209

2,223

2,213

2,214

10,069

21,097

Emergency Forestry Conservation Reserve

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

5

10

CRP Technical Assistance

100

37

77

72

147

106

169

91

94

85

433

978

Conservation Security/Stewardship Program

1,607

1,822

1,743

1,772

1,820

1,771

1,768

1,810

1,808

1,808

8,764

17,729

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

1,509

1,545

1,600

1,640

1,674

1,729

1,750

1,750

1,750

1,750

7,968

16,697

Agricultural Conservation Easement Program

310

271

266

250

250

250

250

250

250

250

1,347

2,597

Regional Conservation Partnership Program

127

125

121

107

98

100

100

100

100

100

578

1,078

Agricultural Management Assistance

9

9

9

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

47

97

Programs repealed in 2014 and user fees

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-20

-40

Other, incl. announced FY2019 sequestration

-233

-75

-75

-51

-42

-27

15

-1

0

0

-476

-489

Subtotal, Title II

5,245

5,730

5,780

5,880

6,080

6,105

6,268

6,230

6,222

6,214

28,715

59,754

Title III: Trade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Market Access Program

200

200

200

200

200

200

200

200

200

200

1,000

2,000

Food for Progress

153

154

154

154

154

155

155

155

155

155

769

1,544

Emerging Markets Program

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

40

80

Subtotal, Title III

361

362

362

362

362

363

363

363

363

363

1,809

3,624

Title IV: Nutrition

65,817

65,268

65,033

64,857

64,947

65,477

66,247

67,151

68,720

70,311

325,922

663,828

Title V: Credit

-435

-437

-440

-444

-449

-455

-462

-471

-478

-487

-2,205

-4,558

Title VI: Rural Development

35

21

14

14

14

14

14

14

14

14

98

168

Title VII: Research

82

78

59

55

55

55

55

55

55

55

329

604

Title VIII: Forestry

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

5

10

Title IX: Energy

102

89

70

51

50

50

50

50

50

50

362

612

Title X: Horticulture

153

154

155

155

155

155

155

155

155

155

772

1,547

Title XI: Crop Insurance

7,230

7,471

7,684

7,811

7,860

7,903

7,942

8,006

8,047

8,082

38,057

78,037

Title XII: Miscellaneous

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program

223

223

223

223

223

223

223

223

223

223

1,114

2,229

Other

71

37

12

12

12

10

10

10

10

10

145

195

Subtotal, Title XII

294

259

235

235

235

233

233

233

233

233

1,259

2,423

Total

85,372

84,617

85,989

85,263

85,221

85,831

86,800

87,938

89,268

90,901

426,462

867,200

Nutrition (Title IV)

65,817

65,268

65,033

64,857

64,947

65,477

66,247

67,151

68,720

70,311

325,922

663,828

Non-nutrition (other titles)

19,555

19,350

20,955

20,406

20,274

20,354

20,553

20,787

20,548

20,590

100,540

203,372

Source: CRS, compiled using the CBO Baseline by Title (unpublished; April 2018; in bold), and based on additional details for programs from the CBO baseline, https://www.cbo.gov/about/products/baseline-projections-selected-programs, April 2018 (in italics).

Note: Near-term amounts may include outlays for programs that expired before FY2019. Among titles without program detail, Nutrition includes SNAP, Credit includes receipts to FCS Insurance Fund. Research includes SCRI. Energy includes REAP, Horticulture includes SCBG, PPDM, and promotion orders, as noted in Figure 2.

Programs Without Baseline

As explained above, most of the major farm bill provisions are assumed to continue in the baseline. However, some programs may not be assumed to continue, because they had estimated mandatory spending below the minimum scoring threshold of $50 million or the Budget and/or Agriculture Committees determined that mandatory spending should not continue.

The 2014 farm bill contains 39 programs that received mandatory funding that do not have baseline beyond FY2018 (Figure 3). These programs had estimated mandatory spending totaling $2.824 billion over the five-year farm bill.16

Among this group are certain conservation programs; most of the Bioenergy, Rural Development, and Research title programs; various Nutrition title pilot programs and studies; organic agriculture and farmers' market programs; trade promotion; and outreach to farmers.17

Figure 3. 2014 Farm Bill Programs Without a Budget Baseline After FY2018

Sources: Compiled by CRS using the text of the 2014 farm bill (P.L. 113-79); the CBO score of the Agricultural Act of 2014, Table 4, "Detailed Effects on Direct Spending," January 28, 2014, https://www.cbo.gov/publication/45049; and the CBO Baseline Projection for USDA Mandatory Farm Programs, April 2018.

Scores of the 2018 Farm Bill Proposals

The budgetary impact of the 2018 farm bill proposals (House-passed H.R. 2 and the Senate-passed amendment to H.R. 2) are measured relative to the CBO baseline—that is, what the 2014 farm bill (current law) would have spent had it continued. Budget enforcement uses the April 2018 baseline and these scores to follow an array of federal budget rules, such as "PayGo," that require budgetary offsets to balance new spending to avoid increasing the federal deficit.18

Although the farm bill is generally considered a 5-year authorization—the potential 2018 farm bill would cover FY2019-FY2023—budget rules require it to be scored over a 10-year budget window. Thus, when the legislation is discussed during its development, the farm bill may be presented more in terms of its effect over the 10-year budget window than the score of the bill over the intended 5-year duration of the law. Separately, other statements about the total cost of the farm bill may be in terms of its five-year baseline (i.e., projected spending over the five-year life of the farm bill). Both are appropriate measures depending on one's perspective, but the two can be very different in magnitude, so it is important to differentiate between them.

CBO has released several scores of the 2018 farm bill in the various stages of its development. The most recent is an update that was released jointly for both bills on July 24, 2018, for the versions of H.R. 2 as passed by the House and the Senate and is the basis for the analysis here.19

Prior to the July 24 scores, CBO released its analyses of the original House-introduced bill,20 the House-reported bill after it passed the full committee and was initially considered on the floor,21 and the Senate-reported bill.22 The July 24 scores incorporate floor amendments from both chambers' bills that caused the House bill to reduce spending compared with the House-reported bill—particularly in the Nutrition title—and the Senate bill to spend slightly more than the Senate-reported bill in the Nutrition, Farm Commodities, and Miscellaneous titles. Subsequent to the July 24 scores, CBO released a more detailed assessment of payment limit provisions in the House-passed bill that did not change the score but explained it in more detail.23

Summaries of the House- and Senate-Passed Bill Scores

Relative to the 10-year $867 billion baseline (Table 1, Figure 1), the House-passed bill would reduce outlays by $1.8 billion over 10 years (-0.2%), and the Senate-passed bill would remain budget neutral (+0%) over the same 10-year period (as indicated by the diamonds in Figure 4).

The overall relatively small scores are the net result of sometimes relatively larger increases and reductions across titles (indicated by bar segments in Figure 4, Table 1).

  • The House-passed bill would achieve its overall net reduction by reducing net outlays in four titles (Nutrition, Conservation, Energy, and Crop insurance) and by raising revenue from fees paid by contractors in the SNAP program. It would increase spending by less than the total of these reductions across five other titles (Miscellaneous, Trade, Commodities, Research, and Horticulture).
  • The Senate-passed bill would achieve its budget-neutral outcome by reducing net spending in three titles (Rural Development, Commodities, and Crop insurance) and raising revenue for an oilheat program. It would increase spending across seven titles (Research, Horticulture, Miscellaneous, Trade, Energy, Nutrition, and Forestry).

Figure 4. CBO Scores of the House-Passed and Senate-Passed Farm Bills, by Title

(projected change in 10-year outlays relative to baseline, FY2019-FY2028)

Source: CRS, using the CBO cost estimates for H.R. 2 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2 as passed by the Senate, https://www.cbo.gov/publication/54284, July 24, 2018.

Note: Does not show amounts less than $50 million that are presented in Table 1.

Net Increases in Five-Year Outlays Are Followed by Net Decreases

For the House-passed bill, the net reduction of $1.8 billion over 10 years may be disaggregated into 2 time periods. On a shorter-time-period basis, the five-year score for the authorized life of the bill (FY2019-FY2023) shows a net increase of $2.2 billion over the comparable baseline of $426 billion (Table 1). This projected increase is more than offset by planned reductions that would not be realized until the second five years of the budget window (Figure 5).

For the Senate-passed bill, when the budget-neutral 10-year score is disaggregated, the effect is similar. The five-year FY2019-FY2023 score of the Senate bill shows a net increase of $1.6 billion that is offset by net reductions that would occur during the second five years (Figure 6).

In both bills, some of the titles that have increases in the first five years have decreases in the second five years (e.g., the Nutrition and Conservation titles in both the House- and Senate-passed bills). This may occur because of the time needed to implement changes and may make provisions more appealing in the early years despite having less baseline for a future farm bill.

Figure 5. CBO Score of House-Passed H.R. 2, by Period and Title

(projected change in 5- and 10-year outlays relative to baseline, FY2019-FY2028)

Source: CRS, using the CBO cost estimates for H.R. 2 as passed by the House, https://www.cbo.gov/publication/54284, July 24, 2018.

Note: Does not show amounts less than $50 million that are indicated in Table 1.

Figure 6. CBO Score of the Senate-Passed Amendment to H.R. 2, by Period and Title

(projected change in 5- and 10-year outlays relative to baseline, FY2019-FY2028)

Source: CRS, using the CBO cost estimates for the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2 as passed by the Senate, https://www.cbo.gov/publication/54284, July 24, 2018.

Note: Does not show amounts less than $50 million that are indicated in Table 1.

Section-by-Section Scores for Some Titles Exceed Net Scores

Some of the overall scores within a single title are the net result of increases in some sections (provisions) that are offset by reductions in other sections. Sometimes, these increases or decreases are relatively large compared to the net title-level effect. These budget effects may reflect the policy preferences of particular constituencies that may be less apparent in the net title-level scores. For example

  • In the House-passed bill, the Nutrition title has six sections that sum to a $22.0 billion reduction over 10 years (including those for work requirements) and 18 sections that add to $20.6 billion in increased spending—for a relatively small $1.4 billion net decrease in the title-level score. Similarly, the Conservation title has two sections that sum to a $12.6 billion reduction over 10 years (including repealing the Conservation Stewardship Program) and eight sections that add to $11.8 billion in increased spending—for the relatively small net $0.8 billion decrease (Figure 7, Table 3).
  • In the Senate-passed bill, none of the titles' section-by-section scores are as large as for the Nutrition and Conservation titles in the House-passed bill. Nonetheless, the section-by-section scores of the Senate-passed bill show both increases and decreases within some titles, such as Conservation, Nutrition, and Commodities (Figure 8, Table 4).

Programs Without Baseline

For some of the programs without baseline, both the House-passed and Senate-passed bills would provide continuing funding and, in some cases, permanent baseline. Permanent baseline for a program may be indicated by the continuation of funding in the FY2024-FY2028 period that is similar to FY2019-FY2023 (Table 3 and Table 4).

  • In the House bill, programs that receive permanent baseline include Trade title programs that are combined into a new program ($470 million), and a food insecurity program in the Nutrition title ($472 million). Other affected programs that receive mandatory funding, but not permanent baseline, include organic research and beginning farmer programs in the Research title ($250 million), two organic programs in the Horticulture title ($10 million), and outreach for socially disadvantaged farmers and the wool and cotton trust funds in the Miscellaneous title ($150 million). In the Conservation title, small watershed rehabilitation, wetlands mitigation, voluntary public access, and grassroots source water protection programs receive over $500 million of mandatory funding.
  • In the Senate bill, more programs receive permanent baseline than in the House bill, including Trade title programs ($515 million), organic research ($450 million), the beginning farmer program that would be combined with other outreach programs ($466 million), farmers market and value-added promotion programs that are combined ($558 million), and a food insecurity program in the Nutrition title ($401 million). Other affected programs that receive mandatory funding, but not permanent baseline, include an agricultural research foundation ($200 million); various bioenergy programs ($375 million); two other horticulture programs ($63 million); and the Pima cotton, wool, and citrus programs in the Miscellaneous title ($326 million).

Figure 7. CBO Score of House-Passed H.R. 2, by Section and Title

(projected change in 10-year outlays relative to baseline, FY2019-FY2028)

Source: CRS, sorted within titles using the CBO cost estimate for H.R. 2 as passed by the House, July 24, 2018.

Note: Figure indicates magnitude of changes within titles. Details about individual sections are in Table 3.

Figure 8. CBO Score of Senate-Passed Amendment to H.R. 2, by Section and Title

(projected change in 10-year outlays relative to baseline, FY2019-FY2028)

Source: CRS, sorted within titles using the CBO cost estimate for H.R. 2 as passed by the Senate, July 24, 2018.

Note: Figure indicates magnitude of changes within titles. Details about individual sections are in Table 4.

Table 3. CBO Score of House-Passed H.R. 2, by Section

(projected change in outlays relative to April 2018 baseline, millions of dollars)

 

Fiscal year

5 years

10 years

 

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2019-23

2019-28

Title ICommodity Programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agriculture Risk Coverage—Individuala

+0

+0

-16

-17

-18

-18

-17

-19

-18

-20

-51

-143

Agriculture Risk Coverage—Countya

+0

+0

+23

-34

-26

-17

-6

-15

-25

-11

-37

-111

Dairy Program

-45

-2

+4

+3

-1

-3

-6

-4

+18

+17

-41

-20

Nonrecourse Marketing Assistance Loansa

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

Economic Adjustment Assistance Textile Mills

+2

+2

+2

+2

+2

+2

+2

+2

+2

+2

+11

+23

Implementation

+24

+1

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+25

+25

Payment Limitationsb

+4

+4

+4

+4

+4

+4

+4

+4

+4

+4

+20

+40

Supplemental Agriculture Disaster Assistance

+13

+6

+5

+5

+5

+5

+5

+5

+5

+6

+35

+62

Price Loss Coveragea

+0

+0

+137

+55

+43

+50

+134

-59

-16

+64

+235

+408

Subtotal, Title I

-3

+12

+160

+18

+10

+23

+115

-85

-30

+62

+198

+284

Title IIConservation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Repeal Conservation Stewardship Program

-28

-406

-725

-1,072

-1,422

-1,771

-1,768

-1,810

-1,808

-1,808

-3,653

-12,618

Conservation Reserve Program

-21

+70

+98

+96

+83

+73

-43

-76

-137

-166

+326

-23

Grassroots Source Water Protectionc

+2

+2

+1

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+5

+5

Wetlands Mitigation Bankingc

+2

+2

+2

+2

+2

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+10

+10

Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Protectionc

+10

+10

+10

+10

+10

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+50

+50

Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot

+20

+30

+25

+15

+10

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+100

+100

Small Watershed Rehabilitation Programc

+3

+16

+38

+58

+74

+81

+73

+52

+32

+32

+189

+459

Regional Conservation Partnership Program

+60

+106

+118

+131

+143

+150

+150

+150

+150

+150

+558

+1,308

Agricultural Conservation Easement Program

+90

+187

+221

+234

+247

+247

+248

+248

+249

+250

+979

+2,221

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

+55

+227

+424

+608

+777

+921

+1,056

+1,164

+1,217

+1,243

+2,092

+7,693

Subtotal, Title II

+193

+244

+212

+82

-76

-299

-284

-272

-297

-299

+656

-795

Title IIITrade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Development Programd

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+235

+470

Subtotal, Title III

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+47

+235

+470

Title IVNutrition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Workforce Solutions: Benefits

+0

-300

-1,330

-1,350

-1,340

-1,370

-1,560

-1,920

-2,280

-2,650

-4,320

-14,100

Update to Categorical Eligibility

+0

+0

-200

-525

-520

-530

-530

-540

-555

-565

-1,245

-3,965

Standard Utility Allowances Based on Receipt

-130

-310

-310

-310

-300

-300

-310

-310

-320

-330

-1,360

-2,930

Duplicative Enrollment Database

+0

-8

-25

-45

-60

-80

-90

-90

-95

-95

-138

-588

State Performance Indicators

+0

-48

-48

-48

-48

-48

-48

-48

-48

-48

-192

-432

Disqualification of Certain Convicted Felons

*

*

*

-1

-2

-2

-3

-4

-5

-6

-3

-23

Benefit Recovery

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Tolerance Level for Payment Errors

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Administrative Flexibility for States

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Multivitamin-Mineral Dietary Supplements

*

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

*

*

Review of SNAP Operations

*

*

*

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

*

*

Mobile Technologies

+0

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+2

+2

+2

+4

+12

SNAP Benefit Transfer Data Report

+4

+3

+2

+3

+3

+3

+3

+3

+3

+3

+15

+30

Interactions

-2

-3

*

+2

-4

-3

-2

+12

+10

+25

-7

+35

Simplified Homeless Housing Costs

+4

+8

+8

+8

+8

+8

+8

+8

+8

+8

+36

+76

Percent Recovered Funds Retained by States

+10

+10

+10

+10

+10

+10

+10

+10

+11

+11

+50

+102

Basic Allowance for Housing

+8

+11

+11

+11

+11

+12

+12

+13

+13

+14

+52

+116

Implementation Funds

+128

+17

+3

+3

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+150

+150

Prohibited Fees

+0

+3

+7

+13

+20

+20

+20

+20

+25

+25

+43

+153

Asset Limits; Vehicle Allowance; Savings

+1

-15

+5

+30

+30

+30

+30

+30

+30

+30

+51

+201

Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Programd

+7

+17

+30

+46

+55

+59

+63

+65

+65

+65

+155

+472

Emergency Food Assistance

+45

+46

+47

+48

+49

+50

+52

+53

+54

+55

+235

+499

National Gateway

+8

+10

+10

+68

+70

+78

+81

+90

+95

+95

+165

+601

Nutrition Education

+57

+58

+59

+61

+62

+64

+65

+67

+69

+70

+297

+632

Transitional Benefits

+75

+90

+90

+90

+90

+90

+90

+90

+95

+95

+435

+895

Retailer-Funded Incentives Pilot

+2

+182

+180

+120

+120

+120

+120

+120

+120

+120

+604

+1,204

Cooperation with Child Support Agencies

+140

+304

+321

+335

+345

+355

+375

+396

+446

+476

+1,446

+3,494

Earned Income Deduction

+350

+470

+470

+470

+470

+470

+470

+480

+490

+500

+2,230

+4,640

Workforce Solutions: Administration

+0

+140

+600

+680

+740

+810

+920

+1,020

+1,140

+1,250

+2,160

+7,300

Subtotal, Title IV

+707

+685

-59

-280

-190

-153

-223

-434

-628

-850

+862

-1,426

Title VCredit

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

Title VIRural Infrastructure and Economic Developmente

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rural Energy for America Programe

-10

-30

-45

-50

-50

-50

-50

-50

-50

-50

-185

-435

Biorefinery Assistancee

-35

-31

-16

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

-82

-82

Subtotal, Title VIe

-45

-61

-61

-50

-50

-50

-50

-50

-50

-50

-267

-517

Title VIIResearch and Extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Developmentc

+3

+10

+15

+19

+20

+17

+10

+5

+1

+0

+67

+100

Organic Agricultural Research and Extensionc

+5

+15

+23

+29

+30

+26

+15

+8

+2

+0

+101

+150

Subtotal, Title VII

+8

+25

+38

+48

+50

+43

+25

+13

+3

+0

+168

+250

Title VIIIForestry

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

Title IXHorticulture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Organic Program Technology Updatec

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+5

+5

Organic Production and Market Data Initiativec

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+5

+5

Subtotal, Title IX

+2

+2

+2

+2

+2

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+10

+10

Title XCrop Insurance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Education and Risk Management Assistance

-1

-11

-17

-13

-14

-14

-15

-15

-15

-15

-52

-125

Increase Catastrophic Administration Fee

-1

-7

-8

-8

-8

-8

-8

-8

-8

-8

-32

-72

Research and Development Priorities

-5

-5

-5

-5

-5

-5

-5

-5

-5

-5

-23

-45

Program Administration

+0

-2

-2

-2

-2

-2

-2

-2

-2

-2

-8

-18

Whole Farm Application to Beginning Farmers

+0

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+4

+9

Treatment of Forage and Grazing

+1

+9

+10

+10

+10

+10

+10

+10

+10

+10

+40

+90

Subtotal, Title X

-6

-14

-16

-17

-17

-18

-18

-18

-18

-18

-70

-161

Title XIMiscellaneous

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-19

-37

Outreach to Socially Disadvantaged Producersc

+5

+8

+10

+10

+10

+5

+2

+0

+0

+0

+43

+50

Textile Trust Fundc

+1

+26

+25

+25

+25

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+103

+103

Animal Disease Preparedness and Response

+150

+125

+50

+50

+50

+25

+0

+0

+0

+0

+425

+450

Subtotal, Title XI

+152

+156

+82

+82

+82

+26

-2

-4

-4

-4

+553

+566

Total Changes in Direct Spending

+1,055

+1,096

+406

-68

-142

-381

-390

-803

-977

-1,112

+2,344

-1,320

Increases in Revenue: Title IV—Nutrition

+0

+0

+0

+55

+60

+60

+65

+70

+75

+80

+115

+465

Net Effect on the Deficit

+1,055

+1,095

+405

-124

-203

-441

-455

-874

-1,052

-1,192

+2,229

-1,785

Source: CRS, sorted within titles using the CBO cost estimates for H.R. 2 as passed by the House, https://www.cbo.gov/publication/54284, July 24, 2018.

Notes: * denotes score between -$500,000 and +$500,000. + denotes additional spending or, in the case of revenue, additional revenue. – denotes reduced spending.

a. Details by commodity within these programs is available in Table 3 of the original CBO score of the House bill, at https://www.cbo.gov/publication/53760 (April 13, 2018). The total across commodities matches the score of these provisions (ARC, PLC, and marketing loan gains) in both the original CBO estimate and the July 24 score used in this table.

b. Details about CBO's score of the payment limits provision are explained in "Payment Limitations in H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018," https://www.cbo.gov/publication/54450, September 6, 2018.

c. Denotes a "program without baseline" after FY2018 from the 2014 farm bill (Figure 3) that received new funding in FY2019-2023 but not permanent baseline.

d. Denotes a "program without baseline" after FY2018 from the 2014 farm bill (Figure 3) that received new funding in FY2019-2028 and permanent baseline.

e. The House bill combined rural development and energy provisions (e.g., Titles VI and IX in the 2014 farm bill, respectively) into a single title, Title VI—Rural Infrastructure and Economic Development. Elsewhere in this report, such as in Table 1 and the figures, the two House provisions that scored in Title VI are assigned to an Energy title for comparison to the Senate bill and the CBO baseline.


Table 4. CBO Score of the Senate-Passed Amendment to H.R. 2, by Section

(projected change in outlays relative to April 2018 baseline, millions of dollars)

 

Fiscal year

5 years

10 years

 

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2019-23

2019-28

Title ICommodities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Economic Adjustment to Users of Upland Cotton

+0

+0

+0

-46

-46

-47

-47

-47

-47

-47

-92

-328

AGI Limitation of $700,000

-2

-3

-38

-33

-31

-31

-31

-32

-31

-31

-107

-263

Actively Engaged in Farming Requirement

+0

-2

-31

-27

-25

-25

-25

-26

-25

-25

-85

-211

Dairy Product Donation Program

-5

-5

-6

-6

-5

-5

-6

-5

-5

-5

-27

-53

Producer Election (ARC Default Choice)

+0

+0

-2

-1

-1

-1

-1

-1

-1

-1

-4

-9

Catastrophic Coverage $5.00 with 40% Cap

+6

-3

+3

+3

+3

+5

-3

-5

-1

-12

+13

-3

Supplemental Agriculture Disaster Assistance

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+6

+11

Loss of Peach, Blueberry Crops Due to Cold

+18

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+18

+18

Additional Assistance for Volcanic Activity

+27

+3

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+30

+30

Milk Donation Program

+8

+5

+5

+5

+5

+5

+5

+5

+5

+5

+28

+53

Repayment Dairy Risk Coverage Premiums

+78

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+78

+78

Dairy Risk Coverage

+24

+14

+9

+6

+6

+7

+0

-1

+16

+16

+59

+97

Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC)

+0

+0

+23

+17

+20

+21

+21

+23

+22

+23

+61

+172

Subtotal, Title I

+155

+10

-35

-81

-73

-70

-85

-88

-66

-76

-23

-408

Title IIConservation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

-61

-120

-138

-149

-158

-171

-187

-176

-163

-158

-626

-1,481

Conservation Stewardship Program

-3

-25

-46

-67

-88

-112

-133

-155

-175

-196

-229

-1,000

Conservation Reserve Program

-11

+42

+47

+49

+15

+11

-22

-30

-50

-51

+142

+0

Regional Conservation Partnership Program

+41

+71

+79

+87

+96

+100

+100

+100

+100

+100

+374

+874

Agricultural Conservation Easement Program

+56

+115

+134

+149

+175

+188

+194

+197

+199

+200

+629

+1,607

Subtotal, Title II

+22

+83

+76

+69

+40

+16

-48

-64

-89

-105

+290

+0

Title IIITrade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trade Promotion, Development and Assistancea

+52

+52

+52

+52

+52

+52

+52

+52

+52

+52

+258

+515

Subtotal, Title III

+52

+52

+52

+52

+52

+52

+52

+52

+52

+52

+258

+515

Title IVNutrition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interstate Data Matching/Multiple Issuance

+0

-8

-25

-45

-60

-80

-90

-90

-95

-95

-138

-588

Quality Control

-42

-42

-42

-42

-42

-42

-42

-42

-42

-42

-210

-420

Assistance for Community Food Projects

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-4

-20

-40

Interactions

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Income Verification

*

+2

+4

+3

+1

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+10

+10

Harvesting Health Pilot Projects

+4

+4

+4

+4

+4

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+20

+20

Improvements to EBT System

+0

+2

+5

+9

+8

+4

+0

+0

+0

+0

+24

+28

Food Distribution on Indian Reservations

+3

+3

+3

+4

+4

+4

+4

+4

+4

+4

+17

+37

Definition of Certification Period

*

*

+5

+20

+30

+30

+30

+30

+30

+30

+55

+205

Emergency Food Assistance Programs

+12

+24

+23

+23

+23

+19

+20

+20

+21

+21

+105

+206

Work Requirements for SNAP

+5

+40

+55

+55

+55

+5

+5

+5

+5

+5

+210

+235

Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentivea

+8

+18

+30

+45

+50

+50

+50

+50

+50

+50

+151

+401

Subtotal, Title IV

-14

+39

+58

+72

+69

-14

-27

-27

-31

-31

+224

+94

Title VCredit

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

Title VIRural Development

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cushion of Credit: No New, Reduce Rate

-140

-140

-150

-190

-220

-260

-280

-300

-320

-350

-840

-2,350

Rural Electric Development Loan and Grants

+0

+0

+0

+4

+4

+2

+0

+0

+0

+0

+8

+10

Subtotal, Title VI

-140

-140

-150

-186

-216

-258

-280

-300

-320

-350

-832

-2,340

Title VIIResearch and Extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biomass Research and Development

+0

+1

+2

+3

+3

+3

+2

+1

+0

+0

+8

+15

Emerging Agricultural Production Research and Extension

+2

+3

+4

+4

+4

+2

+1

+0

+0

+0

+17

+20

Foundation for Food and Agricultural Researchb

+200

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

+200

+200

Organic Agricultural Research and Extension Initiativea

+24

+36

+43

+48

+50

+50

+50

+50

+50

+50

+200

+450

Subtotal, Title VII

+226

+40

+48

+54

+57

+55

+53

+51

+50

+50

+426

+685

Title VIIIForestry

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+5

+5

Title IXEnergy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carbon Utilization Education Program

+2

+2

+2

+2

+2

0

0

0

0

0

+10

+10

Bio-based Market Programb

+3

+3

+3

+3

+3

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+15

+15

Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuelsb

+3

+9

+13

+14

+15

+12

+6

+2

+1

+0

+54

+75

Biomass Crop Assistance Programb

+9

+16

+20

+22

+25

+16

+8

+5

+4

+0

+92

+125

Bio-refinery Assistanceb

+0

+20

+40

+45

+35

+10

+0

+0

+0

+0

+140

+150

Subtotal, Title IX

+17

+50

+78

+86

+80

+38

+14

+7

+5

+0

+311

+375

Title XHorticulture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Organic Production and Market Datab

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+5

+5

Organic Certification/Trade Tracking/Data Collection

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+5

+5

National Organic Certification Cost Shareb

+9

+12

+12

+12

+12

+3

0

0

0

0

+55

+58

Local Agriculture Market Programa

+33

+45

+60

+60

+60

+60

+60

+60

+60

+60

+258

+558

Subtotal, Title X

+44

+59

+74

+74

+74

+63

+60

+60

+60

+60

+323

+626

Title XICrop Insurance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enterprise Units Across County Lines

+0

-3

-3

-3

-3

-3

-3

-3

-3

-3

-12

-27

Crop Production on Native Sod

+0

-1

-1

-1

-1

-1

-1

-1

-1

-1

-3

-7

Funding for Information Technology

+0

+1

+1

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+2

+2

Submission of Policies and Materials to Board

+0

+0

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+3

+8

Whole Farm Revenue Agent Incentives

+0

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+2

+3

+10

Pasture, Range, Forage Policy Indian Tribes

+0

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+5

+12

Subtotal, Title XI

+0

+0

+0

-1

-1

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

-1

-2

Title XIIMiscellaneous

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extension of Merchandise Processing Fee

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

-371

+0

+0

-371

Direct Operation Microloans

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+5

+5

Cattle Tick Inspection Emergency Livestock

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+4

+7

Administrative Units

+0

+0

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+3

+7

Wool Research and Promotion

+0

+2

+2

+2

+2

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+9

+10

National Oilheat Research Alliance

+5

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+33

+68

Pima Agriculture Cotton Trust Fundb

+16

+16

+16

+16

+16

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+80

+80

Agriculture Wool Apparel Manufacturing Trust Fundb

+0

+30

+30

+30

+30

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+120

+121

Emergency Citrus Trust Fundb

+25

+25

+25

+25

+25

+0

+0

+0

+0

+0

+125

+125

Farming Opportunities Training and Outreacha

+26

+40

+50

+50

+50

+50

+50

+50

+50

+50

+216

+466

Subtotal, Title XII

+73

+122

+133

+133

+133

+59

+59

+59

-312

+59

+594

+517

Total Changes in Direct Spending

+436

+314

+334

+273

+215

-61

-203

-250

-651

-341

+1,573

+68

Increases in Revenue: Title XII—Oilheat

+5

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+7

+33

+68

Net Effect on the Deficit

+431

+307

+327

+266

+208

-68

-210

-257

-658

-348

+1,540

+0

Source: CRS, sorted within titles using the CBO cost estimates for the Senate-passed amendment to H.R. 2, https://www.cbo.gov/publication/54284, July 24, 2018.

Notes: * denotes score between -$500,000 and +$500,000. + denotes additional spending or, in the case of revenue, additional revenue. - denotes reduced spending.

a. Denotes a "program without baseline" after FY2018 from the 2014 farm bill (Figure 3) that received new funding in FY2019-2028 and permanent baseline.

b. Denotes a "program without baseline" after FY2018 from the 2014 farm bill (Figure 3) that received new funding in FY2019-2023 but not permanent baseline.

Authorizations for Discretionary Appropriation

In addition to the mandatory spending figures above, the farm bill authorizes appropriations for a variety of existing and new USDA programs. The CBO scores include an estimate of the discretionary spending that would be needed to implement provisions that have authorizations of appropriations. As discussed before, these authorizations are not actual costs to the score of the farm bill (in terms of mandatory spending baseline and score) because such discretionary spending is ultimately determined in future annual appropriations acts.

For the House-passed farm bill, CBO estimated that implementing the provisions of H.R. 2 that specify authorizations of appropriations would cost $24.5 billion over the five-year period FY2019-FY2023, assuming appropriation of the specified amounts. For the Senate-passed version, the amount would be slightly smaller at $23.7 billion.24

For both of these estimates of chamber-passed authorized appropriations, the projection is for the total of the bill and is not disaggregated across titles or programs. However, the earlier committee-reported scores of the respective farm bills do estimate amounts by title, as shown in Table 5.25 The committee-reported totals are nearly the same as the chamber-passed totals, thus making the earlier title-level estimates relatively reliable indicators of the distribution across titles for the authorizations of appropriation that are made in each chamber-passed bill.

The title-level CBO estimate of discretionary spending that is authorized in the farm bill is similar between the House and Senate bills. Three titles account for about 85% of the discretionary authorizations: Trade, Research, and Rural Development.

The bill-level estimates that sum to between $2 billion and $6 billion per year do not reflect total annual appropriations for agencies or programs in the roughly $20 billion Agriculture appropriations act.26 Not all of the authorizations of appropriations that are funded in the Agriculture appropriations act are made in the farm bill. For example, the annual Agriculture appropriations act includes funding for (1) agencies or programs that are not in the jurisdiction of the farm bill authorizing committees (e.g., the roughly $6 billion Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children is not in the jurisdiction of the House Agriculture Committee or the farm bill) and (2) appropriations for salaries and expenses that may be permanently authorized or not necessarily reauthorized in the farm bill. CBO did not estimate the cost of implementing provisions that do not have a specific authorization amount.

Table 5. Farm Bill Authorizations That Are Subject to Appropriation

(dollars in millions)

 

Fiscal year

Five years

 

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

FY2019-23

House

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commodities

na

na

na

na

na

na

Conservation

106

144

157

165

165

737

Trade

874

2,130

2,417

2,533

2,578

10,532

Nutrition

74

79

80

80

80

393

Credit

248

257

257

257

257

1,274

Rural Infrastructure and Economic Development

179

490

826

1,159

1,292

3,945

Research

756

1,183

1,479

1,479

1,479

6,374

Forestry

56

81

94

102

105

437

Horticulture

51

62

65

67

69

313

Crop Insurance

na

na

na

na

na

na

Miscellaneous

34

54

60

60

60

268

Subtotal (committee-reported score)

2,378

4,479

5,433

5,900

6,084

24,273

Changes added after floor passage

37

40

41

41

41

200

Total (House-passed score)

2,415

4,519

5,474

5,941

6,125

24,473

Senate

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commodities

na

na

na

na

na

na

Conservation

178

259

293

315

315

1,359

Trade

878

2,139

2,427

2,544

2,589

10,577

Nutrition

7

14

11

10

5

47

Credit

172

173

173

173

173

862

Rural Development

132

333

520

690

764

2,440

Research

864

1,278

1,566

1,559

1,559

6,826

Forestry

-24

-14

9

23

31

26

Energy

31

78

126

159

176

570

Horticulture

37

51

54

56

58

255

Crop Insurance

na

na

na

na

na

na

Miscellaneous

95

149

157

157

157

713

Subtotal (committee-reported score)

2,370

4,461

5,334

5,685

5,825

23,675

Changes added after floor passage

1

4

4

1

0

10

Total (Senate-passed score)

2,371

4,465

5,338

5,686

5,825

23,685

Source: CRS, compiled from (1) title-level amounts in CBO, "H.R. 2, as Reported by the House Agriculture Committee," May 2, 2018; and CBO, S. 3042 as Reported by the Senate Agriculture Committee," June 21, 2018; and (2) the updated total in CBO, "Cost Estimates for H.R. 2 as Passed by the House and as Passed by the Senate," July 24, 2018.

Note: "na" indicates that CBO did not estimate a specific authorization amount.

Author Contact Information

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

Footnotes

1.

CRS In Focus IF10187, Farm Bill Primer: What Is the Farm Bill?

2.

CRS Report R45210, Farm Bills: Major Legislative Actions, 1965-2018.

3.

CRS Report R45341, Expiration of the 2014 Farm Bill.

4.

CRS Report R45275, The House and Senate 2018 Farm Bills (H.R. 2): A Side-by-Side Comparison with Current Law.

5.

CRS Report RL31704, A New Farm Bill: Comparing the 2002 Law with Previous Law and House and Senate Bills (available from the author).

6.

CRS Report RL34696, The 2008 Farm Bill: Major Provisions and Legislative Action.

7.

CRS Report R42484, Budget Issues That Shaped the 2014 Farm Bill. For more about continuing sequestration issues for the farm bill, see the Appendix in CRS Report R45230, Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2019 Appropriations.

8.

CRS Report RS22131, What Is the Farm Bill?

9.

CRS Report R44606, The Commodity Credit Corporation: In Brief.

10.

For example, see CRS Report R45230, Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2019 Appropriations.

11.

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

12.

For example, the CBO baselines for the primary farm commodity and nutrition programs remain positive through FY2027, even though their current authority under the 2014 farm bill generally expires after FY2018.

13.

See Section 257 of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 907), as explained by CBO, The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2018 to 2028, April 2018, pp. 47 and 54, https://www.cbo.gov/publication/53651.

14.

CBO, "Baseline Projections," https://www.cbo.gov/about/products/baseline-projections-selected-programs, April 2018; and the CBO Baseline by Title (unpublished; April 2018); and in the table notes in CBO, "Cost Estimates for H.R. 2 as Passed by the House of Representatives and as Passed by the Senate," https://www.cbo.gov/publication/54284, July 24, 2018. See also the analysis in CRS In Focus IF10783, Farm Bill Primer: Budget Issues.

15.

Although the farm bill is generally considered a five-year authorization, budget rules assess federal spending over a 10-year budget window.

16.

CRS Report R44758, Farm Bill Programs Without a Budget Baseline Beyond FY2018.

17.

CRS In Focus IF10780, Farm Bill Primer: Programs Without Baseline Beyond FY2018.

18.

CRS Report RL31943, Budget Enforcement Procedures: The Senate Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) Rule.

19.

CBO, "Cost Estimates for H.R. 2 as Passed by the House of Representatives and as Passed by the Senate."

20.

CBO, "H.R. 2, Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, as Introduced in the House," https://www.cbo.gov/publication/53760, April 13, 2018.

21.

CBO, "H.R. 2, Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, as Reported by the House Agriculture Committee," https://www.cbo.gov/publication/53819, May 2, 2018.

22.

CBO, "S. 3042, Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, as Reported by the Senate Agriculture Committee," https://www.cbo.gov/publication/54092, June 21, 2018.

23.

CBO, "Payment Limitations in H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018," https://www.cbo.gov/publication/54450, September 6, 2018.

24.

CBO, "Cost Estimates for H.R. 2 as Passed by the House of Representatives and as Passed by the Senate."

25.

CBO, "H.R. 2, Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, as Reported by the House Agriculture Committee"; and CBO, "S. 3042, Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, as Reported by the Senate Agriculture Committee."

26.

For example, see CRS Report R45230, Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2019 Appropriations.