The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies cleared on a voice vote $140.7 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 discretionary ($19.4 billion) and mandatory ($121.3 billion) funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The legislation reduces President Barack Obama's FY 2013 budget request for USDA and FDA by more than $3.7 billion, the subcommittee said. The House Appropriations Committee could mark up the subcommittee bill within the next week.
Export market development and promotion programs are funded at the authorized levels of $200 million (Market Access Program) and $34.5 million (Foreign Market Development Program), respectively, which are the same levels proposed by the subcommittee in recent years. USA Rice Federation and 127 other organizations signed a letter to the subcommittee expressing strong support for MAP and FMD and funding them at authorized levels. Food for Peace Program funding for overseas food donations is nearly $1.15 billion, slightly more than the subcommittee proposed last year, but about $250 million less than the president requested.
Funding for USDA's conservation operations is slightly more than $812 million, a decrease of $16 million below last year's level and $16 million below the president's budget. The subcommittee also would cap funding for several individual conservation programs, including the Conservation Stewardship Program, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, and the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program.
For food and nutrition programs, the subcommittee funded the Women, Infants, and Children Program at $6.9 billion, more than $300 million above last year's level, but $119 million below the president's request. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (food stamps) account contains $80 billion, which is $408 million below last year's level and $2 billion below the president's request.
The subcommittee provides $2.5 billion for agricultural research programs, including the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, which is a reduction of $35 million below last year's level and about $100 million below the president's proposal.