Subcommittee Approves $22.9 Billion in Ag, FDA Funding

June 12, 2009 Bookmark and Share

The House Appropriations Committee’s agriculture subcommittee approved a $22.9 billion FY2010 appropriations bill this week to fund USDA, the Food and Drug Administration and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.

The bill’s total represented a $2.3 billion increase in discretionary spending from FY2009 levels, though the vast majority of extra funding will go to FDA and food assistance at home and abroad.

Though total spending was up, the bill is $78 million less than the Obama Administration request, and Subcommittee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said the bill included $650 million in cuts.

The Department of Agriculture was funded in the bill at $20.4 billion, $2 billion above FY2009. Specific areas of funding included:

  • the Agricultural Research Service, up $3.4 million to $1.19 billion in FY2010;
  • the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (formerly the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service), up $26.8 million or 2 percent to $1.25 billion.
  • conservation programs under the Natural Resources Conservation Service, up almost $12 million or 1 percent to $980 million;
  • the Farm Service Agency, up $48 million or 3 percent to $1.692 billion, including a reported $67.3 million for computer systems;
  • PL 480 food assistance, up $464 million or 38 percent to $1.7 billion; and
  • the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) food assistance program, up $681 million or 10 percent to $7.54 billion.

The Food and Drug Administration was funded in the bill at $2.35 billion, $298.7 million or 15 percent above FY2009, while the Commodities Future Trading Commission, whose work has been a focus of much attention in recent months, was funded in the bill at $160.6 million, $14.6 million or 10 percent above FY2009.

The following programs of interest to the wheat industry are included in the Committee-released earmark list:

  • biomass crop production, Brookings, S.D., $1.131 million.
  • cereal disease research, St. Paul, Minn., $290,000.
  • Northern Great Plains research laboratory, Mandan, N.D., $511,000.
  • agricultural research facility, Beltsville, Md., $3 million.
  • ARS laboratory, Pullman, Wash., $3.654 million.
  • cellulosic biomass, South Carolina, $469,000.
  • PM-10 study, Washington, $268,000.
  • Aegilops Cylindrica, Idaho, Washington, $245,000.
  • barley for rural development, Idaho, Montana, $514,000.
  • expanded wheat pasture, Oklahoma, $223,000.
  • Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute, $1.139 million.
  • regional barley gene mapping project, Oregon, $471,000.
  • Russian wheat aphid, Colorado, $214,000.
  • STEEP IV – water quality in the Northwest, $444,000.
  • wheat genetic research, $240,000.

NAWG spearheaded wheat-industry letters sent this week to subcommittee leaders emphasizing the importance of agricultural research. Similar letters were sent to the leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the House Appropriations’ foreign operations subcommittee, which oversees funding for international agricultural research centers. All of those letters are available at www.wheatworld.org/issues/research.

NAWG and other members of the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports also sent letters this week to Members of the subcommittee supporting full funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program (letter accessible at www.wheatworld.org/issues/trade).

The agriculture appropriations bill is set to be taken up by the full Appropriations Committee next week.

A summary of the bill and a full list of earmarks are available at http://appropriations.house.gov/Subcommittees/sub_ardf.shtml