PDF _ RL32904 - Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2006 Appropriations
19-Jul-2005; Jim Monke; 49 p.

Update: Most Recent Developments: On June 27, 2005, the Senate Appropriations Committee reported the FY2006 agriculture appropriations bill (H.R. 2744, S.Rept. 109-92). This bill includes all of USDA (except the Forest Service), plus the Food and Drug Administration and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The $100.2 billion Senate bill contains $17.348 billion in discretionary spending and $82.81 billion for mandatory programs. The discretionary amount is $609 million (+3.6%) above the Administration's request, and $518 million (+3%) more than the House-passed bill. The mandatory level concurs with both the House-passed bill and the Administration?s request, and is $14.4 billion (+17%) above the enacted FY2005 level.
On June 8, 2005, the House of Representatives passed the FY2006 agriculture appropriations bill by a vote of 408-18 (H.R. 2744, H.Rept. 109-102). The $99.7 billion bill contains $16.83 billion in discretionary spending and $82.82 billion for mandatory programs. The discretionary amount is $90 million (+0.5%) above the Administration?s request, and essentially constant compared with the FY2005 level.
This report discusses provisions in H.R. 2744 and compares them with the Administration?s request and the enacted FY2005 appropriations levels.

Abstract: The Senate Appropriations Committee reported the FY2006 Agriculture appropriations bill (H.R. 2744, S.Rept. 109-92) on June 27, 2005. This bill includes all of USDA (except the Forest Service), plus the Food and Drug Administration and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The $100.2 billion Senate bill contains $17.348 billion in discretionary spending and $82.81 billion for mandatory programs. The discretionary amount is $609 million (+3.6%) above the Administration's request, and $518 million (+3%) more than the House-passed bill. The mandatory level concurs with both the House-passed bill and the Administration?s request, and is $14.4 billion (+17%) above enacted FY2005 levels.
The House of Representatives passed the FY2006 Agriculture appropriations bill (H.R. 2744, H.Rept. 109-102) on June 8, 2005, by a vote of 408-18. The $99.7 billion bill contains $16.83 billion in discretionary spending, $90 million (+0.5%) above the Administration?s request, and constant compared with the FY2005 level.
The overall increase above FY2005 is due to larger mandatory spending on farm commodity programs. About 83% of the total request is for mandatory programs (primarily the Commodity Credit Corporation, crop insurance, and most food and nutrition programs). The remaining 17% is for discretionary programs. This is the category of spending over which appropriators have direct control.
Both the Senate-reported and House-passed versions of H.R. 2744 reject or limit many of the Administration?s proposed reductions to many conservation and rural development programs, while concurring with others. Both versions effectively reject the Administration?s proposal to redirect $300 million in foreign food assistance funds to purchase food locally in foreign markets rather than buy U.S. commodities. This has proven controversial with farm groups and private voluntary organizations that distribute food aid. Neither measure follows the Administration?s proposal to cut formula funds for the state agricultural experiment stations (under the Hatch Act) by 50% and to provide a new pool of competitively awarded grants. As in previous years, appropriators rejected the Administration?s proposal to terminate a large number of earmarked agricultural research projects. The House bill includes language prohibiting use of funds to implement country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for meat or meat products, effectively postponing the start date for COOL. The Senate-reported bill includes funding to implement COOL.
The conference agreement on the FY2006 budget resolution (H.Con.Res. 95) includes reconciliation instructions to the agriculture authorizing committees to find program changes saving $173 million in FY2006 and $3.0 billion over five years. The Administration proposes greater reductions in mandatory spending on farm commodity programs, crop insurance, food assistance, rural development, and conservation. Further action depends on how the House and Senate agriculture committees (not the appropriations subcommittees) carry out the instructions.
This report will be updated as events warrant. [read report]

Topics: Agriculture, International

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