The House voted 298-121 to adopt the conference report on a FY12 appropriations package that combines the Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science and Transportation-HUD spending bills. The Senate quickly followed by approving the legislation 70-30.
The “minibus” compromise would provide a total of about $128 billion in discretionary appropriations for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, not including emergency disaster aid. It also would include a continuing resolution to keep the remaining government agencies, not covered in the minibus, running through Dec. 16. The current CR expires at midnight Friday, Nov. 18.
The minibus (HR 2112 — H. Rept. 112-284) would provide $19.8 billion in regular discretionary funding for agriculture programs, down $391 million from FY11. The legislation includes $17.85 million for operation of the boll weevil and pink bollworm eradication programs during FY13.
The final legislation does not include an amendment adopted by the House that would have prevented the U.S. from transferring funds to Brazil as part of a temporary agreement that has prevented retaliation against U.S. exports.
The conference report does include a provision adopted by the Senate on an 86-14 vote to impose an additional $1 million adjusted gross income test on growers to determine eligibility for farm programs. That test, which is in addition to existing farm and non-farm income tests, will be effective for 2013 crop programs.
The NCC strongly opposed the income test provision when it was considered by the Senate and urged conferees not to include it in the conference report as it adds additional uncertainty to program eligibility in the last year of existing farm law.