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Government Relations & Washington Update

July 2023

House and Senate Committees Advance FY 2024 Agriculture Spending Bill
On June 14, the House Appropriations Committee met to consider the FY 2024 Agriculture Appropriations bill.  The bill provides a non-defense discretionary total of $25.313 billion for programs under the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee, $532 million (2.1%) below the FY23 enacted level and $3.622 billion (12.5%) below the FY24 President’s Budget Request. The bill was allocated $17.838 billion and includes another $7.475 billion that is offset by clawing back unused funding for pandemic-era programs.

On June 22, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of FY 2024 Agriculture Appropriations.  The Senate’s bill provides $25.993 billion which represents a slight increase over FY 2023 levels, but $3 billion below the President’s request.  The Senate bill does not cancel unused pandemic funding as was done in the House version.

Below is a summary of selected accounts comparing the House and Senate versions with the President’s budget and FY 2023 levels.

ACCOUNT     FY23 FINAL    FY24 President                   FY24 House   FY24 Senate

OCE                  $28.2 million   $35.6 million               $29.2 million   $30.2 million
ERS                   $92.6 million   $98 million                  $90.6 million   $92.2 million
NASS                $211 million    $241 million                $187.5 million $200.5 million
ARS Salaries     $1.744 billion $1.938 billion             $1.745 billion $1.793 billion
ARS Buildings  $132.3 million $41 million                  $16.7 million   $88.8 million
Hatch               $265 million   $265 million                $265 million    $265 million
AFRI                 $455 million   $550 million                $460 million    $455 million
Smith Lever      $325 million    $325 million                $325 million    $325 million
AGARDA           $1 million        $0                                $1 million        $1 million

Below are links to additional information regarding the House and Senate bills:

House FY 2024 Agriculture Appropriations Bill:

Senate FY 2024 Agriculture Appropriations Bill:

House Subcommittee Holds Farm Bill Hearing on the Research Title
On June 14, the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Conservation, Research, and Biotechnology held a hearing entitled: “A Review of Title VII: University Perspectives on Research and Extension Programs.”  In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman, Rep. Jim Baird (R-IN), noted how agricultural research has yielded the economy $20 for every $1 spent despite public spending for agricultural research declining since 2002. Baird also acknowledged the backlog of deferred maintenance on research facilities across the nation.

The Subcommittee heard from a panel of witnesses representing a cross section of land grant and non-land grant universities.  Support for infrastructure was a common theme, as was continued authorization and funding for capacity funds and competitive programs.

Witnesses included:

  • Dr. Bernard EngelSenior Associate Dean and Director of Agricultural Research and Graduate Education, Purdue University
  • Dr. Alan L. GrantDean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Dr. Moses T. KairoDean of the School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore
  • Ms. Carrie BillyChief Executive Officer and President, American Indian Higher Education Consortium
  • Dr. Clint KrehbielDean of the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University
  • Dr. Kathryn UhrichDean of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of California, Riverside
  • The hearing was the latest in a series as the committee prepares to reauthorize the Farm Bill. A recording of the hearing is available HERE

Legislation Introduced to Fund Agricultural Research Infrastructure      
On June 14, Representatives Tracey Mann (KS-01) and Kim Schrier (WA-08) introduced H.R. 4135, the Augmenting Research and Educational Sites to Ensure Agriculture Remains Cutting-edge and Helpful (AG RESEARCH) Act. This legislation will bolster federal investment in land-grant universities, institutions, and facilities that conduct food and agricultural research.  The bill would provide $1 billion in mandatory spending and authorize an additional $1 billion in discretionary appropriations over 5 years to provide infrastructure grants to agricultural research facilities.  The hope is that the AG RESEARCH Act can be incorporated into the next Farm Bill.  The legislation would support the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) ongoing efforts to secure additional funds for agricultural research infrastructure.