The House and Senate Appropriations Committees are continuing to work on fiscal year (FY) 2011 spending bills. To date, eight bills have been approved by House Appropriations Subcommittees and three bills have been adopted by the full Senate Appropriations Committee. All of these measures have included less funding than requested by the President last February.

Recently, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved what are known as 302(b) allocations ? the amount of money each appropriations subcommittee will have to fund the programs under its jurisdiction. As part of this process, Senate appropriators agreed on 15 July to trim $14 billion from the President’s $1 trillion FY 2011 budget request.

Among the measures approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee is the FY 2011 spending plan for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Included in the $22.8 billion for USDA is $2.818 billion for research, $20 million less than FY 2010. The department’s research agencies, the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), would receive $1.251 billion and $1.310 billion, respectively. Within NIFA, the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) would receive an increase of nearly $48 million. The $310 million proposed for AFRI is comparable to the amount passed last month by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, but is nearly $120 million less than the President requested.

In the House, spending plans for the Departments of Energy, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education moved one step further in the appropriations process. The House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee approved legislation that would provide a 4 percent increase for the Department of Energy. With this increase, Energy would still be $675 million below the level requested by the President. Funding for Energy’s Office of Science would be flat at $4.9 billion, $221 million below the President’s request. The Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill has also been released from subcommittee. The measure would provide the National Institutes of Health with $32 billion, a $1 billion increase over last year.


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