Saturday, 7 March 2009

Nutrition and agriculture funding in the recovery package

From the Congressional Research Service (.pdf):
Agriculture programs—including nutrition assistance, rural development, farmer assistance, and conservation—would receive about $26.6 billion of the $787 billion in the enacted ARRA (about 3.4%). The $26.6 billion is allocated as follows:

• Nutrition assistance programs receive $20.8 billion (78% of the total amount for agriculture). Food stamp benefits and eligibility in the newly renamed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) represent the largest single increase (nearly $20 billion); benefits rise 20% on average from current levels.

• Rural development receives a sizeable increase of $4.4 billion over two years (compared to a regular annual appropriation of about $2.5 billion). Rural broadband receives $2.5 billion of this, an amount that allows outlays through FY2015 that are 20-30 times more than recent annual appropriations.

• Assistance for farmers totals $744 million, including crop insurance/disaster programs ($674 million), aquaculture feed cost assistance ($50 million), and farm loan programs ($20 million).

• Conservation programs receive $348 million for watershed flood prevention ($290 million) and dam rehabilitation projects ($50 million).

• USDA receives $250 million for its own facilities maintenance ($200 million) and computer infrastructure ($50 million).

• The USDA Office of Inspector General receives $23 million for increased oversight and audits of these supplemental spending programs.

• Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers is reauthorized.

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