PDF _ RL31301 - Appropriations for FY2003: U.S. Department of Agriculture and Related Agencies
22-Mar-2002; Ralph M. Chite; 45 p.

Update: March 4, 2003

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Abstract: On February 20, 2003, the President signed into law the FY2003 omnibus appropriations act (P.L. 108-7, H.J.Res. 2), containing funding for agencies and programs within the eleven regular FY2003 appropriations bills that were unresolved in the 107th Congress. For the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and related agencies, P.L. 108-7 contains a total regular annual appropriation of $74.25 billion, of which $56.7 billion is for mandatory programs and $17.55 billion is for discretionary programs. The $17.55 billion in discretionary funds is $805 million below the Senate-passed version of H.J.Res.2 and $56 million below the Housereported version of H.R. 5263, but $124 million above the Administration's FY2003 request and $1.27 billion above the enacted FY2002 level including FY2002 supplementals. Not included in the totals is the effect of a 0.65% across-the-board rescission to almost all discretionary programs funded by P.L. 108-7, which could reduce USDA and related agencies appropriations by approximately $85 million in FY2003. Also separate from the regular appropriations is a provision in P.L. 108-7 for $3.1 billion in FY2003 agricultural disaster assistance, primarily for farmers and ranchers affected by a natural disaster in 2001 or 2002. The cost of the disaster assistance is offset by a comparable reduction in a mandatory conservation program over a 10-year period.

Among its other major provisions affecting USDA agencies and programs, P.L. 108-7: 1) provides $1.45 billion in foreign food aid under P.L. 480 Title II, including $250 million in supplemental funding that is available through FY2004, and requires USDA to supply a minimum of 400,000 tons of commodities under a separate mandatory food aid program; 2) prohibits the use of discretionary funds to administer any mandatory conservation programs; 3) limits spending on certain mandatory trade, conservation and research programs and applies the savings from these reductions to spending on discretionary programs; 4) rejects an Administration proposal to require private crop insurance companies to absorb more of the cost of the federal crop insurance program; 5) provides supplemental funding to help the Farm Service Agency administer disaster and farm bill programs; 6) funds special research grants proposed to be terminated by the Administration; 7) increases funding over FY2002 for food safety and animal and plant health inspection activities, reflecting increased government responsibility to protect the food supply from terrorist attacks; and 8) increases USDA food and nutrition program spending by $4 billion over FY2002, in line with the Administration request, including $3.2 billion more for the food stamp program.

Included in the bill totals is $1.4 billion in appropriations for the largest related agency, the Department of Health and Human Services? Food and Drug Administration. This appropriation includes $159 million as requested by the Administration for FDA?s counter-terrorism activities. FDA also is authorized to collect $270.5 million in various user fees to supplement its appropriation, including a new medical device user fee. [read report]

Topics: Legislative, Federal Agencies, Agriculture

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