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Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture Bill


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Washington, May 31, 2011 - The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which will fund the various programs within the Department of Agriculture and related agencies. In total, the legislation includes $125.5 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding, a reduction of more than $7 billion from the President’s request. The bill reduces discretionary spending by $2.7 billion from last year’s level – a cut of more than $5 billion from the President’s request.

“As in all our Appropriations bills this year, this legislation reflects hard decisions to cut lower priority programs, reduce spending in programs that can be scaled back, and target funds where they are needed most so that our nation can continue on the path to fiscal recovery,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “While these cuts are significant, this bill also provides the funding needed to encourage the economic development of our rural communities, sustain the food and nutrition programs that assist our low-income families, and keep our nation’s food supply safe.”

For the text and report of legislation considered today by the Appropriations Committee, please visit:
http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/FY_2012_Agriculture_-_Bill.pdf and http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/FY_2012_AGRICULTURE_FULL_COMMITTEE_REPORT.pdf.

Summaries of the adopted amendments at the full committee mark up follow:

Subcommittee Chairman Kingston (R-GA) – An amendment to strike language in the underlying report related to tobacco products and to insert language under the Commodity Futures Trading Commission related to the mitigation of commercial risks to agriculture commodities. The amendment passed on a voice vote.

Subcommittee Ranking Member Farr (D-CA) – An amendment making technical clarifications related to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The amendment passed on a voice vote.

Rep. Emerson (R-MO) – An amendment inserting reporting language clarifications related to increasing efficiencies within Domestic Food Assistance programs. The amendment would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to assess the feasibility and consequences of transitioning certain participants from the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) to SNAP. The amendment passed on a voice vote.

Rep. Moran (D-VA) – An amendment prohibiting funding for USDA inspections at U.S. horse slaughter facilities. This amendment would essentially prevent horse slaughtering at these facilities. The amendment passed on a vote of 24-21.

Rep. Rehberg (R-MT) – An amendment to prohibit funds to the FDA for rule-making activities or guidance unless the Secretary of Agriculture bases decisions on “hard science” and determines that the benefit of the rule or guidance justifies the action. The amendment passed on a vote of 29-20.

Rep. Kaptur (D-OH) – An amendment adding $1.3 million to the Rural Energy for America Program, offset by a corresponding cut in administrative funding at the Department of Agriculture. The amendment passed on a voice vote.

Rep. Flake (R-AZ) – An amendment allowing the Secretary of Agriculture to take $147 million in payments to U.S. cotton producers to pay for the Brazilian Cotton Institute payment. The amendment passed on a voice vote.

Rep. DeLauro (D-CT) –An amendment to increase WIC funding by $147 million, offset by a reduction to an international cotton program. The amendment passed on a voice vote.

Rep. Flake (R-AZ) – An amendment to prohibit funds for certain direct farm bill payments for applicants with incomes exceeding $250,000. The amendment passed on a voice vote.

Rep. Rehberg (R-MT) – An amendment encouraging the Secretary of Agriculture to work for producers who could not file the necessary paper within the designated time period for the Crop Insurance program due to flooding and other natural disasters in Presidentially declared disaster areas.

Rep. McCollum (D-MN) – An amendment to prohibit funds for contracts or agreements with entities with unpaid Federal tax liabilities that have not entered into payment agreements to remedy the liability. The amendment passed on a voice vote.

Rep. McCollum (D-MN) – An amendment prohibiting the government from entering into contracts or agreements with any corporation that was convicted of a felony criminal violation under any Federal or State law within the preceding 24 months. The amendment was accepted on a voice vote.

Passage – The FY 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill was adopted by the full committee on a voice vote.

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