June 25, 2013 | Issue Brief on Agriculture
Though the “farm” bill was just struck down in the House, there are still serious agriculture spending issues that must be addressed. The House is expected to take up the $19.5 billion agriculture appropriations bill soon. This is a prime opportunity for the House to show that it is serious about cutting unnecessary agricultural spending and reducing the national debt.
From the $350 million Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) education program to the $713 million Conservation Technical Assistance program, the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) budget is ripe for the picking.
—Daren Bakst is a Research Fellow in Agricultural Policy and Romina Boccia is Assistant Director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
These figures are taken from the 2014 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hrpt-113-hr-2014-agriculture.pdf (accessed June 25, 2013); and U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2014: Appendix (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2013), pp. 61–197, http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2014/assets/agr.pdf (accessed June 25, 2013).
Bryan Riley and Brett D. Schaefer, “U.S. Food Aid Should Focus on Combating Hunger and Malnutrition in Poor Nations,” Heritage Foundation Issue Brief No. 3910, April 15, 2013, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/04/us-food-aid-should-focus-on-combating-hunger-and-malnutrition-in-poor-nations.
U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Energy and Commerce, “Letters to USDA and GAO Regarding Broadband Stimulus Oversight,” March 2013, http://energycommerce.house.gov/letter/letters-usda-and-gao-regarding-broadband-stimulus-oversight (accessed on June 17, 2013).
Current check-off programs include marketing and research for the blueberry, beef, mango, milk, popcorn, processed raspberry, and watermelon industries. U.S. Department of Agriculture, “Research and Promotion Programs,” http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/ams.fetchTemplateData.do?template=TemplateB&navID=ResearchandPromotion&leftNav=ResearchandPromotion&page=ResearchandPromotion&acct=AMSPW (accessed June 25, 2013).
U.S. Department of Agriculture, “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education,” http://www.fns.usda.gov/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-education-snap-ed (accessed June 25, 2013).
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, “Technical Assistance,” http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/technical/ (accessed June 25, 2013).
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “Overview of FDA Proposed Labeling Requirements for Restaurants, Similar Retail Food Establishments and Vending Machines,” http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm248732.htm (accessed June 25, 2013).
Diane Katz, “Tales of the Red Tape #34: FDA Invades Piggly Wiggly,” The Heritage Foundation, The Foundry, June 27, 2012, http://blog.heritage.org/2012/06/27/tales-of-the-red-tape-34-fda-invades-piggly-wiggly/.
Amalia K. Corby-Edwards, “Nutrition Labeling of Restaurant Menus,” Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, November 19, 2012, http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42825.pdf (accessed June 25, 2013).