Appropriators unveil list of spending cuts for agriculture, other programs

WASHINGTON, April 12 – A wide variety of spending cuts, as well as a few spending increases and policy riders are included in the final details of the 2011 budget compromise which was released early Tuesday morning by the Chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.

Of the $38.5 billion in overall reductions from fiscal 2010 levels, about $20 billion would come from domestic discretionary programs, while $17.8 billion would be cut from mandatory programs. The continuing resolution (CR) funds Agriculture programs at $20 billion, which is
$3 billion below the fiscal year 2010 enacted level and $3.2 billion below the President’s 2011 budget request.

The bill provides $1 billion for Food Safety and Inspection, which is $10 million below the fiscal year 2010 level, reduces the Agricultural Credit Insurance Fund by $433 million, cuts the Agricultural Research Service by $44 million and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture by $125.9 million. Other cuts, compared to FY 2010 levels, include:

· $504 million from the Women’s, Infants and Children’s program
· $151 million from Rural Housing loan subsidies cut $151 million
· $194 million from Foreign Food Assistance
· $119 million from the Wetlands Reserve Program
· $39 million from the Conservation Stewardship Program
· $80 million from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program
· $134 million from the Biomass Crop Assistance Program
· $350 million from Dairy subsidies

Note: None of these reductions include the 0.2% across the board cut to non-defense accounts.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Kentucky, touted the historic nature of the spending cuts in a press release issued early Tuesday.

“Never before has any Congress made dramatic cuts such as those that are in this final legislation. The near $40 billion reduction in non-defense spending is nearly five times larger than any other cut in history, and is the result of this new Republican majority’s commitment to bring about real change in the way Washington spends the people’s money,” emphasized Rogers.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) issued a press release noting that many of the Democrats’ priorities were preserved, including Head Start, Pell Grants and ‘vital scientific and medical research.”

Both the Securities and Exchange and Commodity Futures Trading Commissions get modest increases — totaling about $74 million and $34 million above the FY10 enacted levels, respectively. In addition, “Race to the Top,” Obama’s signature education reform initiative, will receive an additional $700 million in funding.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) budget will be reduced by $1.6 billion, a 16% decrease from last year’s level. Funding levels for Land and Water Conservation Fund programs were cut $149 million and climate change funding was cut by $49 million.

The legislation contains language reinstating the Fish and Wildlife Service’s original determination to delist wolves in states with approved management plans. It returns management of wolf populations in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Utah to the states. The bill also includes a limitation on the use of funds to implement the Bureau of Land Management’s “Wild Lands” policy.

· To view a summary of the legislation, go to: http://republicans.appropriations.house.gov/_files/41211SummaryFinalFY2011CR.pdf

· To view the U.S. Senate Appropriations Press Release, go to:
http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news.cfm?method=news.view&id=180ea521-c1f7-416b-b628-9e15eecea83d

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