HOUSE PASSES FY 2012 AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATIONS BILL; APPROVES $229.5 MILLION FOR AFRI Created by on 06/20/2011
On June 16th
, the House of Representatives passed HR 2112, the fiscal year (FY) 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill
, by a vote
of 217-203. The legislation provides $229.5 million for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). This funding level is $35.5 million (13 percent) below the FY 2011 “continuing resolution” level of $265 million and $95.5 million below the President’s request of $325 million. A press release
issued by the House Appropriations Committee praised the passage of HR 2112 and included a list of amendments adopted during the nearly three-day House floor debate on the bill. An amendment offered by Representative Cory Gardner (R-CO) and approved by voice vote cut $4.4 million from research and education activities at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the agency which oversees AFRI, and transferred the funds to the Integrated Activities account.
The House vote followed passage of the bill by the Appropriations Committee on May 31st. In the bill’s accompanying report, the committee expressed regret that it could not provide increased funding for AFRI in FY 2012, but also voiced concern about NIFA research priorities and urged the agency to “focus on its core mission of agricultural research.” Statements by Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Ranking Member Norm Dicks (D-WA), as well as a press release summarizing the committee mark-up are available on the committee website. The $229.5 million funding level for AFRI approved by the full committee represents a small increase from the $225 million allocated by the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee on May 24th.