Americans across the country can now expect to see government offices in operation after a several week government shutdown.
Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law a $333 million appropriations bill that will fund the federal government for the remaining seven-and-a-half months of fiscal year 2019.
This package includes funding for the FY 2019 Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, Financial Services, Interior-Environment, State-Foreign Operations and Transportation-HUD and Homeland Security appropriations bills, averting another government shutdown.
“We are happy to see the government receive full funding from Congress and President Trump,” Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation President Mike McCormick said. “The agriculture spending bill passed provides our farmers and ranchers with a huge amount of support.”
The agriculture spending bill provides $23 billion in discretionary funding, which is $32 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. Highlights of the bill include:
- Electronic Logging Devices – The bill prohibits through the remainder of FY19 the Department of Transportation from enforcing the electronic logging devic mandate on those haulers transporting livestock and insects.
- Lab-Produced Protein – The bill directs USDA and FDA formalize a joint framework for regulating lab-produced protein within 60 days of enactment.
- ERS and NIFA Relocation – The bill directs USDA to wait on relocating ERS and NIFA until more information is provided to Congress.
- Farm Program – The bill allows for pilot program for the 2018 crop year for county-level agriculture risk coverage payments where a supplemental payment is made based on alternative calculations if the National Agricultural Statistics Service data currently used creates payment disparities within comparable counties in a state. One alternative calculation can be based on Risk Management Agency data. This is designed to address the payment disparities observed in ARC-CO program payments during the previous crop years.
- Agricultural Research – $3.16 billion, an increase of $405 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $879 million above the President’s budget request, to support agricultural research conducted by the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This amount includes an additional investment of $381 million in ARS buildings and facilities to ensure researchers have the facilities needed to maintain a safe, stable, and abundant food supply.
- Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – $1.014 billion, an increase of $29 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $272 million above the budget request.
- Natural Resources Conservation Service – $819 million, a decrease of $55 million below the FY2018 enacted level and an increase of $150 million above the President’s budget request, for conservation operations to help farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners conserve and protect their land. The bill also includes $160 million for the Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations Program and the Watershed Rehabilitation Program to support needed investments in rural communities, equal to the FY2018 enacted level and $160 million above the President’s budget request.
- Farm Service Agency – $1.711 billion for FSA’s various farm, conservation, and emergency loan programs that are important to the nation’s farmers and ranchers. This level is $84 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $220 million above the budget request. The bill prohibits the closure of FSA county offices and provides resources for information technology improvements and personnel in county offices.
- Food Safety and Inspection Service – $1.049 billion, which is $7.5 million below the FY2018 enacted level and $17 million above the President’s budget request.
- Rural Development – $3.64 billion for Rural Development, including $625 million in funding dedicated for infrastructure investments in Rural America. This total is $1.84 billion above the President’s budget request.
- Rural Broadband – $550 million for the rural broadband loan and grant pilot program, which is $50 million below the FY2018 enacted level and rejects the President’s proposed elimination of the program.
- Food for Peace — $1.716 billion, which is equal to the FY2018 enacted level and rejects the President’s proposed elimination of the program.
- McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program — $210.255 million, an increase of $2.6 million above the FY2018 enacted level and a rejection of the President’s proposed elimination of the program.
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – $3.08 billion in discretionary funding for the FDA, an increase of $269 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $103 million below the President’s budget request. Overall, total FDA funding, including user fee revenues, is $5.67 billion, which is $468 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $52 million below the request.