HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE APPROVES $276.5 MILLION FOR AGRICULTURE RESEARCH IN FISCAL YEAR 2013 Created by on 07/17/2012
On June 19th
, the full House Appropriations Committee approved by a voice vote its fiscal year (FY) 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill (HR 5973)
. The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture received $276.5 million, according to the committee report.This is $12 million (4.5 percent) above the enacted FY 2012 level of $264.5 million and $21.5 million below the $298 million FY 2013 recommendation passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee on April 26th. In addition, the House bill includes a total of $1.175 billion (a $27 million reduction from FY 2012) for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the agency which oversees AFRI.
During their opening statements, Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY)
and Subcommittee Chairman Jack Kingston (R-GA)
each mentioned agricultural research as one of the highest priorities in the bill. None of the amendments offered during the mark-up addressed AFRI funding or agricultural research issues. A press release
summarizing the full committee proceedings and the adopted amendments is available on the committee website
Language in the committee report
directs NIFA to prioritize funding for the “highest quality, peer-reviewed, and relevant plant and animal production and protection research.” The appropriators also expressed continued concerns about NIFA’s large unexpended and unobligated balances, as well as displeasure that the agency failed to submit a previously requested report explaining the management of its appropriation.