Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2022 Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA Funding Bill
The House Appropriations Committee today released the draft fiscal year 2022 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies funding bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The legislation funds agencies and programs within the Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the Farm Credit Administration.
For fiscal year 2022, the bill provides discretionary funding of $26.55 billion – a critical increase of $2.851 billion, more than 10 percent – above 2021. In total, the bill includes $196.7 billion for both discretionary programs funded on an annual basis and mandatory programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The legislation:
- Tackles hunger and nutrition insecurity by expanding access to fruits and vegetables to 6.4 million people through WIC and ensuring 45 million people in SNAP-eligible families get the benefits they need. The bill also invests in the health of America’s kids through Child Nutrition programs, like school meals - which are now the healthiest source of food consumed in the United States.
- Grows opportunity and lifts up rural communities by increasing funding for rural broadband, connecting more communities to the internet through a program that last year got more than 100,000 people connected to the 21st century economy.
- Rebuilds our public health and consumer safety infrastructure with increased funding to address maternal and infant nutrition, including resources for the ‘Closer to Zero’ initiative to reduce exposure to toxic elements in babies’ and young children’s food, emerging food-related chemical and toxicological issues, drug safety oversight, as well as providing additional resources for inspections, and drug and device supply chain monitoring and surveillance. The bill also invests in our public health infrastructure by modernizing FDA’s data infrastructure to better ensure the safety and security of the food and medical supply chain.
- Confronts the climate crisis with $347.4 million across USDA to address the impacts of climate change. These investments are aimed to tackle the climate crisis in farming and rural communities and include research to monitor, measure, and mitigate climate change, accelerate climate smart agriculture practices, reduce greenhouse gases, and advance clean energy technologies.
- Provides important investments to ensure equitable participation in USDA programs. In total, the bill provides more funding than the request to advance racial justice, including increases for extension, research, and capacity grants at our 1890 land grants, 1994 land grants, and Hispanic serving institutions to help strengthen the pipeline for the future of agriculture. It also provides funding to improve outreach and program access to historically underserved communities and provides a healthy increase for USDA’s Office of Civil Rights above the request.
“Rural communities are the backbone of America and the programs in this bill impact every American, no matter where they live. Today, we are ensuring that families have healthy meals to put on the table and that our food and medicine is safe. This bill also invests in farmers – from research and conservation efforts to making sure that the fruits of their labor reach markets across the country and around the globe – which is vital to our country’s economy. It also strengthens our commitment to rural development, funding critical infrastructure projects as well as housing assistance, so that America’s heartland continues to grow to meet the needs of our nation,” Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Sanford Bishop, Jr. (D-GA-02) said. “Our bill increases the Food and Drug Administration’s funding by $257 million over last year’s level which will improve safety efforts and accelerate medical advancements. It truly takes care of us all and will fully fund child nutrition programs, continue our investment in the ReConnect program for rural broadband which has created thousands of jobs, improve USDA outreach to historically underserved communities, and make sure that our rural and farming communities have the resources they need to help address the climate crisis.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic did not spare our nation’s food system, it pulled back the curtain on the food and nutrition crisis that continues to plague our nation,” Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) said. “Hunger skyrocketed among families with children and farmers faced severe supply chain disruptions that shut down their markets and threatened their livelihoods. The over 10 percent funding increase in this bill will build resiliency in the food system by investing in family farmers and connecting them to local and regional markets. Investments in SNAP, WIC, and child nutrition programs will strengthen our safety net against hunger and promote health and nutrition security. The bill also advances agricultural research and regenerative agriculture practices, positioning America’s farmers and ranchers as a key solution to the climate crisis. The bill also prioritizes new initiatives at the Food and Drug Administration that will make food safer by strengthening our response to foodborne illness outbreaks and reducing heavy metals in baby foods.”
A summary of the draft fiscal year 2022 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies bill is below. The text of the draft bill is here. The subcommittee markup will be webcast live and linked from https://appropriations.house.gov/events/markups.
Rural Development and Infrastructure – The bill provides a total of more than $4.695 billion for rural development programs. These programs help create an environment for economic growth by providing business and housing opportunities and building sustainable rural infrastructure for the modern economy.
- Rural Broadband – The legislation invests over $907 million, an increase of $165 million above the FY 2021 enacted level, in the expansion of broadband service to provide economic development opportunities and improved education and healthcare services. This includes $800 million for the ReConnect program. These significant investments in broadband reflect a commitment to enabling Americans in rural communities to access digital tools necessary to improve health, educational, and economic outcomes. Since 2019, more than 200,000 rural residents have gained access to broadband through these programs.
- Critical Infrastructure – The legislation includes responsible investments in infrastructure to help rural areas of the country access basic utilities. This includes $1.45 billion for rural water and waste program loans, and over $716 million in water and waste grants for clean and reliable drinking water systems and sanitary waste disposal systems, which will provide safe drinking water to millions of rural residents. An additional $7.195 billion in loan authority is provided for rural electric and telephone infrastructure loans.
- Rural Housing Loans and Rental Assistance – The bill provides a total of $30 billion in loan authority for the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program. The bill includes $1.5 billion in direct single family housing loans, meeting the estimated need for these loans, which provide home loan assistance to low-income rural families, many of whom would have few loan options for purchasing a home because of their geographical location. In addition, a total of $1.495 billion is provided for rental assistance and rental vouchers for affordable rental housing for low-income families and the elderly in rural communities to renew all existing rental assistance contracts. In FY 2020, Rural Development housing programs provided affordable housing to 138,331 rural homeowners.
Food and Nutrition Programs – The legislation contains discretionary funding, as well as mandatory funding required by law, for food and nutrition programs within the Department of Agriculture. This includes funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and child nutrition programs.
- Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) – The bill provides $6 billion in discretionary funding for WIC, including $834 million to increase the amounts of fruits and vegetables in the WIC Food Package. In FY 2022, WIC will serve an estimated 6.4 million women, infants, and children.
- Child nutrition programs – The bill provides $26.9 billion in funding for child nutrition programs. This is an increase of $1.774 billion above the FY 2021 enacted level. As kids return to the classroom, this funding will support more than 5.2 billion school lunches and snacks. In addition, the bill provides $45 million for the Summer EBT program, $35 million for school kitchen equipment grants, and $10 million for school breakfast expansion grants.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – The bill provides $105.792 billion in required mandatory spending for SNAP, including $3 billion for the SNAP reserve fund, which will serve more than 45 million people. For the first time ever, the bill provides additional protections for SNAP recipients by providing a “such sums” appropriations for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2022 to ensure SNAP does not run out of money.
International Food Assistance Programs – The legislation contains $2 billion for international food aid and to promote U.S. agricultural exports overseas. This includes $1.74 billion for Food for Peace grants and $245 million for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition program. In 2020, these programs, which work to reduce famine and increase food security overseas, provided food assistance to 15 countries.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – FDA receives a total of $3.471 billion in discretionary funding in the bill, an increase of $257 million above the FY 2021 enacted level. Total funding for FDA, including revenue from user fees, is $6.288 billion. Within this total, the Committee provides a targeted increase of $72 million to address the opioid crisis, medical supply chain surveillance, rare cancers, and increasing and strengthening inspections. It also includes a $65 million increase to better avoid or more quickly respond to food outbreaks, improve the animal food inspection system, and addresses heavy metals in baby food. The bill also appropriates $50 million to accelerate medical product development as authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act.
Food Safety and Inspection Service – The legislation includes $1.153 billion for food safety and inspection programs. These mandatory inspection activities help ensure the safety and productivity of the country’s meat and poultry industry, and keep safe, healthy food on American tables. The funding provided will maintain more than 8,700 frontline inspection personnel for meat, poultry, and egg products at more than 6,500 facilities across the country.
Marketing Programs – The bill provides $223 million, $35 million above the FY 2021 enacted level and $10 million above the request, to facilitate the movement of agriculture products and open market opportunities. This includes $20.3 million for the National Organic Program to protect the integrity of the USDA Organic label and $16.7 million for the new hemp production program. The bill also provides $21.4 million in discretionary funds to the Agricultural Marketing Service and Rural Development for the Local Agriculture Market Program to continue supporting local food and value-added agriculture.
Farm Programs – The legislation provides $1.873 billion for farm programs, which is $48.5 million above the FY 2021 enacted level. This includes $60 million to resolve ownership and succession of farmland issues, also known as heirs’ property issues. This funding will continue support for various farm, conservation, and emergency loan programs, and help American farmers and ranchers. It will also meet estimates of demand for farm loan programs.
Animal and Plant Health – The legislation includes $1.125 billion – $57 million above the FY 2021 enacted level – for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. This funding will support programs to help control or eradicate plant and animal pests and diseases that can be crippling to U.S. producers. The funding level provides increases that will help address harmful pests and diseases such as cotton pests, spotted lanternfly, and chronic wasting disease, and support the growing needs of veterinary biological products such as vaccines and diagnostic tests while maintaining increases from past years for citrus greening.
Conservation Programs – The bill provides $1.06 billion to help farmers, ranchers, and other private landowners conserve and protect their land. This includes $170 million for infrastructure for watershed and flood prevention and watershed rehabilitation projects, $9.5 million for the Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Program, and $10 million for the Healthy Forests Reserve Program.
Agricultural Research – The bill provides $3.391 billion – $321 million above the FY 2021 enacted level – for agriculture research programs, including the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). This funding will support research at all ARS facilities to help mitigate and stop devastating crop diseases, improve food safety and water quality, increase production, and combat antimicrobial resistance. This funding also includes important research investments in U.S. land-grant colleges and universities, including a significant increase for the 1890 institutions, and for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s premier competitive research program.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) – The bill provides $363 million for the CFTC - $59 million above the FY 2021 enacted level.