Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2023 Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA Funding Bill
WASHINGTON — The House Appropriations Committee today released the draft fiscal year 2023 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 2023, the bill provides funding of $27.2 billion– a critical increase of $2.075 billion, 8 percent– above 2022. In total, the bill includes $195 billion for both discretionary programs funded on an annual basis and mandatory programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The legislation:
- Rebuilds our public health infrastructure and strengthens the safety of our baby formula market 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 in-person inspections of one of the largest foreign drug manufacturing countries, 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.
- Tackles hunger and nutrition insecurity by providing increased access to fruits and vegetables to 6.2 million people through WIC and ensuring 43.5 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 with a critical increase for rural broadband, a new 1 percent loan program for water programs for rural areas, and a record investment of $1.5 billion in single family home loans.
- Provides important investments to ensure equitable participation in USDA programs. In total, the bill provides 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 increased funding to improve outreach and program access to historically underserved communities and more than doubles funding for Tribal relations activities.
- Provides full pay and FERS costs for both USDA and FDA. For FDA, this is the first time in years such costs have been provided. Including these costs ensures that these expenses do not come out of base program funding.
“Our country’s rural and agricultural communities are important to all Americans. This bill continues to expand and improve rural housing, broadband, healthcare, public safety, and water infrastructure. We are making historic investments in agricultural research to strengthen our nation’s agricultural productivity and sustainability as well as grow a new crop of agricultural professionals and scientists that will benefit our farmers, ranchers, universities, and USDA agencies. We are fully funding nutrition programs to care for our country’s most vulnerable – children and seniors – along with families struggling to put food on the table. The bill also makes the largest ever commitment to the Food for Peace Grants program to help address rising food insecurity around the world, which has been made worse by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Sanford Bishop, Jr. (D-GA-02) said. “Through this bill, we are dedicating resources to promote animal welfare and combat emerging diseases. We are prioritizing the ability of USDA and FDA to carry out their vital responsibilities, as well as reaffirming our commitment to ensuring safe food, medicine, and medical devices.”
“The baby formula recall and subsequent shortage and government response have reminded us just how critical the Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA funding bill is to the health and safety of children and families. The bill helps create a more resilient baby formula market with increased funding for workers at the Food and Drug Administration to inspect baby formula and review new products. The funding will make food safer by strengthening our response to foodborne illness outbreaks,” Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) said. “Additionally, investments in international food assistance and SNAP, WIC, and other child nutrition programs will strengthen our safety net against hunger and promote health and nutrition security. By building off the success of the 2022 spending bill, this bill has the power to ensure every consumer and our farmers, ranchers, and rural communities have the support they need and access to the safe, accessible, and resilient food supply they deserve.”
A summary of the draft fiscal year 2023 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 on the House Committee on Appropriations website.
Rural Development and Infrastructure – The bill provides a total of more than $4.2 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. Some of these investments include information technology investments to better manage the Agency’s $300 billion portfolio and staffing to improve program delivery and customer service.
- Rural Broadband – The legislation invests over $560 million for the expansion of broadband service to provide economic development opportunities and improved education and healthcare services. This includes $450 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. This is in addition to the $2 billion investment in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
- Critical Infrastructure – The legislation includes responsible investments in infrastructure to help rural areas of the country access basic utilities. This includes $1.5 billion for rural water and waste program loans, and over $680 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. The bill creates a 1 percent loan rate for distressed areas to make the loan more financially viable. An additional $7.9 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. The bill includes language to start a new ‘re-lending program’ for Native American Tribes, historically hard-to-reach and underserved communities. In addition, the bill includes over $1.5 billion 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, matching USDA estimates. These programs assist approximately 140,000 families.
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 and continues the authority to increase the amounts of fruits and vegetables in the WIC Food Package. In FY 2023, WIC will serve an estimated 6.2 million women, infants, and children.
- Child nutrition programs – The bill provides $28.6 billion in funding for child nutrition programs. This is an increase of $1.7 billion above the FY 2022 enacted level. This funding will support roughly 5.6 billion school lunches and snacks. In addition, the bill provides $50 million for the Summer EBT program, $40 million for school kitchen equipment grants, $10 million for school breakfast expansion grants, and $12 million for farm to school grants.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – The bill provides $111.180 billion in required mandatory spending for SNAP, including $3 billion for the SNAP reserve fund, which will serve more than 43.5 million people. The bill provides additional protections for SNAP recipients by providing a “such sums” appropriations for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2023 to ensure SNAP does not run out of money.
- The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) – The bill provides $100 million to support the storage and distribution of USDA Foods distributed through the TEFAP network of emergency feeding organizations. This is the highest ever level for the TEFAP program.
International Food Assistance Programs – The legislation contains $1.8 billion for Food for Peace grants, the highest level ever, and $265 million for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition program, the highest level ever for that program.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – FDA receives a total of $3.645 billion in discretionary funding in the bill, an increase of $341 million above the FY 2022 enacted level and $3 million over the request. Within this total, the Committee provides a targeted increase of $64 million for the opioid crisis, medical supply chain surveillance, drug safety surveillance and oversight, and increasing and strengthening in-person inspections of foreign drug manufacturers in India. It also includes a $77 million increase to better avoid or more quickly respond to food outbreaks, improve the animal food inspection system, and address heavy metals in baby food.
Animal and Plant Health – The legislation includes $1.16 billion – $52 million above the FY 2022 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 animal health surveillance and veterinary biological products such as vaccines and diagnostic tests while maintaining increases from past years for citrus greening. It also provides increases in funding for chronic wasting disease, animal and horse welfare, animal health surveillance, and veterinary biological products such as vaccines and diagnostic tests.
Agricultural Research – The bill provides nearly $3.6 billion for agriculture research programs, including the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, including the highest ever level for USDA’s flagship competitive research program, AFRI. The bill includes a significant increase for the 1890 institutions.
Marketing Programs – The bill provides $244 million, $16 million above the FY 2022 enacted level and $10 million above the request, to facilitate the movement of agriculture products and open market opportunities. This includes $22.8 million for the National Organic Program to protect the integrity of the USDA Organic label and $30.2 million for the oversight and enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) – The bill provides $365 million for the CFTC – at the request and $17 million below the FY 2022 enacted level.