Spending plan for USDA, FDA approved

The Senate Appropriations Committee reported legislation that would provide the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) $20.785 billion for discretionary programs for fiscal year (FY) 2013.

The Senate Appropriations Committee reported legislation that would provide the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) $20.785 billion for discretionary programs for fiscal year (FY) 2013, an increase over the current fiscal year's 19.565 billion. Discretionary USDA programs include research and rural development.

(For more, see: Agriculture budget approved by Senate committee)

The committee approved funding for P.L 480 Title II (food aid) at $1.466 billion, the same as FY 2012.  For the Market Access and Foreign Market Development Programs, the committee agreed to funding at the authorized levels of $200 million and $34.5 million, respectively, the same as FY 2012. The National Institute on Food and Agriculture (NIFA) research would receive $1.239 billion and Agricultural Research Service $1.101 billion. The committee allocated $828 million for the Natural Resources Conservation Service's conservation operations.  For the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, appropriators directed $7.041 billion, which would enable full program participation.

The Senate will debate the bill but has not scheduled a date.  In the House, the agriculture appropriations subcommittee has not announced a date to mark up its FY 2013 spending bill for USDA and FDA programs.  The House Appropriations Committee has set discretionary FY 2013 spending for USDA and FDA at $19.405 billion, which is less than the FY 2012 level.

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