2023 Ag appropriations bill introduced
The House Ag Appropriations Subcommittee has outlined its 2023 spending priorities. The new appropriations bill for the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration includes 27 billion dollars in discretionary funding, which is 2.3 billion more than 2022.
The bill earmarks 3.9 billion for agricultural research, an increase of 248 million dollars.
The Farm Service Agency would get 1.22 billion under the bill, which is a 48.2-million-dollar increase. This includes 300 million for Direct Farm Ownership loans to keep pace with increased demand, four million for the Reimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Program for Geographically Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers, and seven million for the State Mediation Grant program.
The bill provides 1.13 billion for NRCS, an increase of 126.8 million. This includes 926.6 million for conservation operations and an increase of 20 million for increased conservation technical assistance staffing.
Discretionary funding for nutrition programs is set at 6.8 billion, an increase of 56 million over 2022. This includes six billion for the WIC program. Total funding for SNAP was cut by 29 billion dollars to 111.1 billion. Child Nutrition Programs would be funded at 28.6 billion. The School Breakfast program would get six billion and will provide an increase of 153 million meals per day across the country.
The bill includes 250 million for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. This funding supports a joint effort between APHIS and Customs and Border Protection to prevent the introduction of invasive species and diseases to the country. Because the Agriculture Quarantine Inspections are experiencing reductions in fees collected due to the pandemic, additional funding was added to the bill to ensure all international air and cargo vessels continue to be inspected.
The spending bill also includes two million to review FDA Standards of Identity on many products, two million for the USDA National Organic Program, and one million for USDA to look at cover crop options for Midwestern dairy and grain production systems.
Total funding for the Rural Development mission area is 4.4 billion, or a 401 million increase over fiscal year 2022.
Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin chairs the Ag Appropriations Subcommittee. She says, “We worked across party lines to increase our investments in rural development and conservation that support the long-term health of our working lands. This legislation increases funding for child nutrition programs, rural broadband, housing, utilities, and businesses. We also found common ground on the need to increase investments for the Food Safety Inspection Service and the Food and Drug Administration.”