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Government Relations & Washington Update

July 2022

House Passes 6 Bill Appropriations Package
On July 20th, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 8294, a package of six fiscal year 2023 federal funding bills, on a 220 to 207 vote.  The six-bill package consists of the 2023 Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies; Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies; Financial Services and General Government; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies funding bills.

The 2023 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies funding bill provides funding of $27.2 billion– a critical increase of $2.075 billion, 8 percent– above 2022. In total, the bill includes $195 billion for both discretionary programs funded on an annual basis and mandatory programs.  The bill provides $3.8 billion for agriculture research programs, with increases for the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, including $500 for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the highest ever level for USDA’s flagship competitive research program.  The bill also provides increases for extension, research, and capacity grants at our 1890 land grants, 1994 land grants, and Hispanic serving institutions to help strengthen the pipeline for the future of agriculture.  One amendment of note came from Rep. Schrier (D-WA), who successfully included $2 million for the NIFA Research Facilities Account to support land grant universities and non-land-grant colleges of agriculture for facility construction, alteration, acquisition, modernization, renovation, or remodeling.

For the Economic Research Service (ERS), the bill provides an appropriation of $90.612 million, which includes an increase of $1,518,000 for pay costs and $1,500,000 for costs associated with the second round of USDA’s National Household Food Purchase and Acquisition Survey.

For the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the bill provides an appropriation of $211,023,000, of which $66,361,000 is for the Census of Agriculture. The Committee includes a total of $4,787,000 for pay increases. In addition, the bill maintains $2,000,000 to expand the existing geospatial program to provide more information on the impact of critical weather events.

Below is a summary of some key accounts and how they compare to the President’s budget and final FY 2022 levels:

ACCOUNT                               FY 2022 FINAL FY 2023 President    FY 2023 House
ERS                                           $87.8 million   $99.5 million               $90.6 million
NASS                                        $190.1 million $217.4 million            $211 million
Office of Chief Economist       $27.2 million   $32 million                  $30.2 million
ARS Salaries                             $1.633 billion $1.9 billion                  $1.736 billion
ARS Buildings                          $127.8 million $45 million                  $71.3 million
Hatch                                       $260 million    $265 million               $265 million
AFRI                                         $445 million    $564 million                $500 million
Smith Lever                              $320 million    $320 million               $330 million  
AGARDA                                   $2 million        $4.9 million                 $2 million

Below are links to additional information about the committee action: