Federal spending for agricultural conservation programs (programs that assist agricultural producers with correcting and preventing natural resource concerns) generally comes in two forms: (1) discretionary spending provided through annual appropriations acts, and (2) mandatory spending authorized and paid for in multiyear legislation (e.g., farm bills). Historically, mandatory agricultural funding was reserved for the farm commodity programs, but it has expanded in recent years to include conservation, rural development, research, and bioenergy programs. This expansion has generated both concern and support. Some consider the expansion to be beyond the scope of the authorizing committee’s jurisdiction, while others prefer the stability of mandatory funding to that of the appropriations process.
Date of Report: July 11, 2014
Number of Pages: 2
Order Number: IF00036
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