The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 budget for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; as well as Energy and Water Development Appropriations bills.
Looking specifically at discretionary spending for agriculture, the FY 2013 budget totals $20.785 billion. The Senate Committee offers the following summary of its funding decisions:
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): The fiscal year 2013 bill provides $2.524 billion for FDA. Included in this amount is an increase of $12.5 million for implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act. This funding level takes into consideration the federal government's responsibilities to protect public health and safety, especially in the areas of food, drugs, medical devices and biologics. The bill does not provide funds for several proposed user fees that have yet to be authorized.
- Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS): The fiscal year 2013 bill provides $1.001 billion for FSIS. This includes an increase above the budget request for federal inspection activities and the full funding requested in the budget for state and international inspection activities.
- Domestic Nutrition: The fiscal year 2013 bill provides $7.041 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). This level will fully fund participation in the program. It also provides $60 million for counselors, $14 million for infrastructure, and $30 million for management information systems. For other domestic nutrition programs, the fiscal year 2013 bill provides $397 million. This includes $187 million for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, which fully funds participation.
- Foreign Food Assistance: The fiscal year 2013 bill provides $1.466 billion for PL 480 Title II, the same level as fiscal year 2012 and $66 million more than the budget request. The McGovern-Dole Program, which provides school meals to the world’s poorest children, is funded at $184 million.
- Research: The fiscal year 2013 bill provides $1.239 billion for the National Institute on Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and $1.101 billion for the Agricultural Research Service. (ARS) Specifically within NIFA, the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative is funded at $298 million, the Hatch Act is funded at $236 million, the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry program is funded at $33 million, and Smith-Lever Sections 3(b) and 3(c) is funded at $294 million.
- Rural Development: The fiscal year 2013 bill provides $2.276 billion in budget authority for Rural Development, which effectively maintains loans and grants essential to small and remote rural communities. The single family housing loan level is steady at $900 million, the water and waste water loan and grant program exceeds $1.5 billion, and $2 billion in loans is provided for essential community facilities.
- Farm Service Agency (FSA): The fiscal year 2013 bill provides $411 million for farm loan programs. The bill provides $1.208 billion for salaries and expenses. The bill also provides full funding to support the agencies' information technology requirements.
- Conservation. The fiscal year 2013 bill provides $828 million for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The bill does not include funding for the Watershed Rehabilitation Program.