The House Appropriations Committee recently approved an agriculture funding bill that includes a significant allocation increase. The Fiscal Year 2022 funding bill for the Agriculture Department, Food and Drug Administration, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission would boost spending by more than 10 percent. A total of $26.6 billion in funding has been proposed in the bill. Rural broadband, nutrition and research, along with climate-related programs all received increased support in the bill.
Support for agricultural research would be increased to more than $3.3 billion. Approximately $1.6 billion would be allocated for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. Additionally, close to $1 billion would be directed to the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Farm programs would be provided with almost $1.9 billion. Nearly $350 million would be directed toward climate change mitigation efforts. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service would be provided with more than $1.1 billion in support. An increase of $165 million has been added to support rural broadband, bringing the total up to $907 million. An additional $65 million would be made available to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for efforts to address food safety issues.
Nutritional programs would also benefit from additional support under the agriculture funding bill. A total of $6 billion in discretionary funding will be directed to the Women, Infants and Children program. Nearly $106 billion in mandatory funding would be provided for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The subcommittee also appropriated $26.9 billion for child nutrition programs, an increase of nearly $1.8 billion from the previous fiscal year.
The timeline for final approval by Congress is unknown at this point. While there is encouragement to pass a final appropriations bill before the September 30 deadline, it is likely that a continuing resolution will be needed. If that were to occur, spending levels would remain at 2021 levels until an appropriations bill can be passed. It is also unknown whether an appropriations bill would be included in an omnibus or minibus bill.