Appropriations

FY2017 Agriculture Appropriations

Senate Appropriations

On May 19, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its FY2017 Agriculture Appropriations bill. To read the Committee’s press release about the bill, click here.

Further analysis to come- but the bill includes $6.35 billion in discretionary funding for WIC, $79.682 billion in mandatory funding for SNAP, and $23.2 billion in mandatory funding for child nutrition programs.

House Appropriations

On April 19, the House Appropriations Committee approved its FY2017 Agriculture Appropriations bill (pdf). To watch the markup of the bill from April 13, click here and to read the Committee’s press release about the bill, click here.

Allocations in the House FY2017 Agriculture Appropriations bill related to the federal nutrition programs include:

SNAP

  • Total funding is $79.7 billion in required mandatory spending, including $3 billion to be placed in a reserve fund, which is $2 billion below the President’s budget request, and $998,000 for nutrition education services.
  • The bill also includes a provision that would require households to report when they move out of the state in which they are currently certified to receive SNAP benefits.

Child Nutrition

  • $21 million to continue the Summer EBT Demonstration Projects.
  • $6.35 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), including $60 million for breastfeeding peer counselors and other related activities and $14 million for infrastructure. The bill would require that these funds no longer be used to purchase infant formula except in accordance with WIC’s cost containment and competitive bidding requirements. The bill also rescinds $100 million of the unobligated balances from amounts made available in FY2016.
  • $25 million in school equipment grants to enable school districts to build their capacity to prepare meals on-site that are healthier and more cost-effective to produce.

School Nutrition Standards – The bill maintains the language from prior appropriations legislation that allows waivers of the whole grain requirement and postpones full implementation of the sodium requirement.

FY2016 Agriculture Appropriations

The FY2016 Omnibus Spending Bill (summary, text) and and Tax Extenders package (summary, text) passed both the House and the Senate on December 18th, 2015.

Allocations related to the federal nutrition programs include:

SNAP

  • Total funding set at $80.8 billion—expected to support anticipated caseload.
  • SNAP Nutrition Education funding set at $408 million—same as FY15.

Child Nutrition Programs

  • $23 million for the summer EBT program, which is $11 million more than the House bill and $7 million more than the 2015 enacted level. Participation is not limited to certain communities as it was last year.
  • $220 million included to help states transition to WIC EBT from paper system.  This is the requested amount from USDA and will be critical support for states to meet the 2020 deadline.
  • $6.350 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which is expected to support the anticipated caseload. This falls short of the $6.623 billion in the President’s FY2016 proposed budget, which was the same amount appropriated last year.
  • School Nutrition Standards: The omnibus maintains the language from prior appropriations legislation that allows waivers of the whole grain requirement and postpones full implementation of the sodium requirement.
  • No CNR on Omnibus. Despite intense bipartisan efforts by Senate Agriculture Committee staff to attach a Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) bill onto the Omnibus, it is reported that at the last minute, House leadership rejected that effort. CNR is expected to be considered early next year under “regular order” with a markup in the Senate Agriculture Committee on a free-standing bill. Stay tuned!

Tax Extender Highlights

  • The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) improvements have been made permanent! Thanks in large part to advocates like you, these critical refundable tax credits for low and moderate-income working families that were slated to expire in 2017 have now been made permanent. The improvements in the small-in-amount EITC for low-income, childless workers were not included.