USDA Budget Cuts Proposed for FY19

Silencing Science Tracker

USDA Budget Cuts Proposed for FY19

On February 12, 2018, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the Trump administration’s proposal for the budget of the U.S. government for fiscal year (FY) 2019. The budget proposes to reduce funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) by $3.7 billion or 16.4% (compared to FY2017 levels). When amounts allocated under the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act are taken into account, funding for USDA would decline by $3.5 billion (compared to FY2017).

While the FY2019 budget retains funding for some USDA research programs, the focus will be on “priority” areas in the Farm Bill, such as plant and animal health and production. Funding for research in other areas will be reduced or eliminated. For example, according to OMB, “[t]he Budget proposes to streamline the research efforts of the Economic Research Service by eliminating low priority research that is being conducted within the private sector and by non-profits and focusing on core data analyses in line with priority research areas.”

Update: Following release of the Trump administration’s budget, EPA published “Explanatory Notes” for the Committee on Appropriations, which provides a detailed breakdown of changes in the funding of its programs. The breakdown reveals that funding for USDA’s four research divisions — the Agricultural Research Service, Economic Research Service, National Agricultural Statistics Service, and National Institute of Food and Agriculture — would be cut by over $1 billion in FY2019 (compared to FY2018).

On September 28, 2018, President Trump signed H.R. 6157 (Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Bill, 2019) into law. Division C of H.R. 6157 provides continuing appropriations for USDA and certain other federal agencies through December 7, 2018. Most USDA projects and activities are funded at FY2018 levels.

On December 8, 2018, funding for USDA and certain other federal agencies lapsed, leading to a partial federal shutdown government. After 35 days, on January 25, 2019, President Trump signed H.J. Res. 28 into law. The resolutiion provides continuing appropriations for various federal agencies through February 15, 2019.

On February 15, 2019, President Trump signed H.J. Res. (known as the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019”) into law. The Act funds USDA and certain other federal agencies through FY2019. Additional funding (above FY2018 levels) is provided for several of USDA’s research programs, including the Agricultural Research Service, which will see an 8% increase in its core research budget. Increased funding is also provided for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (4.5% above FY2018 levels) and Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (3.8% above FY2018 levels).


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