PDF _ RL31095 - Emergency Funding for Agriculture: A Brief History of Supplemental Appropriations, FY1989-FY2006
3-Apr-2006; Ralph M. Chite; 15 p.

Update: July 3, 2006

Previous Releases:
/NLE/CRSreports/05jun/RL31095.pdf
/NLE/CRSreports/06may/RL31095.pdf

Abstract: From FY1989 through FY2006 (to date), 32 appropriations, authorization, or farm disaster acts added approximately $54.4 billion in supplemental funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs (excluding the Forest Service, which is funded annually under the Interior appropriations bill). Nearly $42 billion, or 77% of the total amount, was for FY1999-FY2006 alone. The most recent supplemental appropriations (P.L. 109-148) was provided in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Gulf of Mexico and in preparation for a possible U.S. outbreak of avian influenza. P.L. 109-148 provided $1.17 billion to USDA, including $1.076 for agricultural hurricane assistance, and $94 million for avian influenza response and research activities.

Since FY1989, the vast majority ($41.4 billion) of the total supplemental funding has been paid directly to farmers, primarily through two mechanisms: “market loss payments” ($21.4 billion, all from FY1999-FY2001) to compensate for low farm commodity prices, and crop disaster payments ($20.0 billion) paid to any producer who experienced a major crop loss caused by a natural disaster. The remaining $11.8 billion has funded a wide array of other USDA programs, including livestock feed assistance programs, farm conservation programs, specialty crop assistance, farm loans, and non-farm USDA programs such as overseas food aid, food and nutrition programs, and rural development and housing assistance.

In recent years, virtually all of the supplemental spending has been provided under an emergency designation from Congress and the Administration, meaning that the new spending did not have to be offset with comparable reductions in other programs. However, in some cases a portion of the supplemental is offset by spending reductions in other programs.

Total annual funding additions in the 32 acts providing economic and farm disaster assistance through USDA programs since FY1989 are as follows:
FY1989: $ 3.4 billion; FY1998: $ 0.2 billion;
FY1990: $ 1.5 billion; FY1999: $ 6.6 billion;
FY1991: $ 0; FY2000: $ 14.8 billion;
FY1992: $ 1.0 billion; FY2001: $ 11.3 billion;
FY1993: $ 1.9 billion; FY2002: $ 0.6 billion;
FY1994: $ 3.1 billion; FY2003: $ 3.6 billion;
FY1995: $ 0.6 billion; FY2004: $ 0.2 billion;
FY1996: $ 0.1 billion; FY2005: $ 3.8 billion;
FY1997: $ 0.5 billion;
Grand Total, FY1989-FY2006 (to date): $53.2 billion

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Topics: Agriculture, Legislative

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