HR Cuts White House Ag Requests
"GOP APPROPRIATORS DISREGARD W.H. REQUEST FOR AG RESEARCH FUNDS: The Obama administration asked for about $3.2 billion for agriculture research in its fiscal 2016 budget request - an 18 percent increase from fiscal 2015 - but the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee disregarded the plea in the spending bill it released Wednesday. The bill, which will be marked up today, would grant the USDA just $2.7 billion, about the same as it got this year.
Among the increases the USDA asked for: an additional $200 million for its in-house Agricultural Research Service and another $200 million for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which funds research at land grant universities across the country and competitive research projects that are not tied to the universities under its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. Check out the spending bill here: http://1.usa.gov/1Fnj8ZE
Sticking to the theme of disappointments in the new appropriations bill, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is upset because the legislation would cut funding for two farm bill conservation programs - the Conservation Stewardship Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. The farm bill provides 10 million acres for the Conservation Stewardship Program for 2016, but the new spending bill would limit the program to 7.7 million acres. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program would get an 18 percent cut from the $1.65 billion authorized in the farm bill."
I kind of like some research money. Maybe HR thinks the current amount is enough, but what bothers me is that the resesarch money is given to grants that are only approved if they fit the WH agenda. Research for corn? No. Money for miscanthus? You bet.