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Congress Approves Agriculture, FDA Funding as Part of Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2015

Congress has completed action on the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2015 (the Act), which funds eleven of the twelve regular Appropriation bills through September 30, 2015, the balance of fiscal 2015.  Funding for the Homeland Security bill is provided under a Continuing Resolution through February 27.  The House approved the Act on Thursday, December 11, by a vote of 219-206.  The Senate then approved the Act on Saturday, December 13, by a vote of 56-40.  Details of the Agriculture, Rural Development, and FDA portion of the agreement can be found in Division A of the Act and Division A of the Explanatory Statement (the Statement), and in a summary of key provisions.

The full House Appropriations Committee approved and reported HR 4800 (House Report 113-468), the FY 2015 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill on May 29, 2014, by a vote of 31-18.

The full Senate Appropriations Committee approved and reported S. 2389 (Senate Report 113- 164), the FY 2014 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill (Senate Report ) on May 22, by a voice vote.

Neither the House nor the Senate actually completed action on the above reported bills.

As noted in the Statement, “The House and Senate report language that is not changed by the explanatory statement is approved and indicates congressional intentions. The explanatory statement, while repeating some report language for emphasis, does not intend to negate the language referred to above unless expressly provided herein.” 

Overview:

The legislation provides $147.581 billion in both mandatory and discretionary funding.  This is an increase of nearly $2 billion over FY 2014 and $17.9 billion below the Administration’s FY 2015 request.  It includes $25 million in emergency funding for FDA work on the Ebola Response and Preparedness.  The mandatory funding in the Act is nearly $126.492 billion, of which more than $103 billion goes for food assistance programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP, previously Food Stamps) Program and the Child Nutrition Programs.  The summary says that discretionary spending will be $20.6 billion in FY 2015, $305 million below FY 2014.

The following table provides funding by Title, and compares the Act’s 2015 amounts with the 2014 enacted amounts.

(In thousands of dollars)
Title Description 2014 Enacted 2015 Consolidated Act 2015 Compared with 2014
I Agricultural Programs $29,938,096 $30,182,115 $244,019
II Conservation Programs $825,832 $859,326 $43,656
III Rural Economic and Community Development Programs $2,397,709 $2,403,423 $172,544
IV Domestic Food Programs $108,585,603 $110,190,881 $1,605,278
V Foreign Assistance and Related Programs $1,838,472 $1,835,325 -$3,147
VI Related Agencies and Food and Drug Administration $2,551,905 $2,588,536 $36,631
VII General Provisions -$708,429 -$512,404 -$196,025
VIII Ebola Response and Preparedness (emergency) $25,000 $25,000
  Total, New Budget Authority $145,652,976 $147,580,990 $1,928,014

 

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