Ag News

U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee Approves ag spending bill

On May 9 the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies approved its FY 2019 spending bill.

“This bill is a vital component of our agricultural landscape and nutritional safety net,” said Subcommittee Ranking Member Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.). “It provides the resources needed to ensure our food products and prescription drugs are safe, and is the primary driver of support for rural communities.”

According to a House Appropriations Committee Release, the bill allows a total of $145.09 billion in both discretionary and mandatory spending, representing a $922 billion cut from the enacted spending for FY 2018.

Some of the key measures in the bill, highlighted in the committee release:

• The legislation provides $1.713 billion for farm programs, which is $8.5 million above the fiscal year 2018 level. This includes funding for the new Farm Production and Conservation Business Center proposed by the Secretary’s reorganization for streamlining administrative and support function in the mission area.

• The bill provides a total of more than $3.079 billion for rural development programs. These programs help create an environment for economic growth by providing business and housing opportunities and building sustainable rural infrastructure for the modern economy.

• The legislation invests over $620 million in the expansion of broadband service to provide economic development opportunities and improved education and healthcare services. Funding is included through loan and grants including the Broadband Loan, Community Connect, Distance Learning and Telemedicine programs and a broadband pilot program.

• The bill provides $3.101 billion – up $72 million from fiscal year 2018 – for agriculture research programs, including the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

• The legislation includes $998.4 million – $16.5 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level – for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. This funding will support programs to help control or eradicate plant and animal pests and diseases that can be crippling to U.S. producers.

• The bill provides $1.05 billion to help farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners conserve and protect their land. This includes $160 million for infrastructure rehabilitation to help small communities meet current safety standards for watershed projects.

• The legislation includes $1.05 billion for food safety and inspection programs – a decrease of $7.5 million below the 2018 enacted level.

• Included in the bill is $255 million for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is $6 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level.

• The legislation contains discretionary funding, as well as mandatory funding required by law, for food and nutrition programs within the Department of Agriculture. This includes $6 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), $73.2 billion for  the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and $23.2 billion for child nutrition programs.

For the draft bill text, please visit: