Part 1 of a two part series on the continuing resolution that will fund the government until the end of September. In this episode, we examine the funding for the Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Justice, and science related appropriations.
H.R. 933: Consolidated and Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013
B = billion
M = million
DIVISION A: AGRICULTURE, FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION
- Grand total of division: 139 B for 2013 ($137 B in 2012) ($144 B requested)
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA): $4 B in 2013
- Food Stamps: $77 B for 2013 ($80 B in 2013) ($82 B requested)
- All domestic food programs: $105 B for 3013 ($106 B in 2012) ($109 B requested)
Subject to 2.513% sequester cut
TITLE I – Agricultural Programs
- People eligible for taxpayer food: States, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, Micronesia, the Northern Marianas, and American Samoa
Food Safety & Inspection
- Must have at least 148 inspectors
Hazardous Waste Management:
- LIMITED to $5 M for site investigations and cleanup expenses
TITLE II- Conservation Programs
- $831 M: water & soil conservation including water management to prevent floods
Title III—Rural Development Programs
Rural Electrification and Telecommunications Loans Program Account
- $2 B limit: Loans for construction or purchase of fossil fuel burning electric plants that use carbon sequestration systems.
TITLE IV—Domestic Food Programs
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
- $7 B available until September 30, 2014
Commodity Assistance Program
- $1.3 M yearly until 2023: Planting and agricultural maintenance programs for Marshall islands because our nuclear test ‘Castle Bravo‘ exposed them to radiation in 1954.
TITLE V—Foreign Assistance and Related Programs
Food for Peace Program
- $1.5 B grants available until whenever
TITLE VI—Related Agency and Food and Drug Administration
Food and Drug Administration
- $887 M for food safety inspectors
TITLE VII—General provisions
- Prohibits funding the salaries or expenses of people to carry out the Watershed Rehabilitation Program
- “The purpose of rehabilitation is to extend the service life of the dams and bring them into compliance with applicable safety and performance standards, or to decommission the dams so they no longer pose a threat to life and property.”
- Prohibits funding for the salary or expenses of a person who prepares or submits language into the President’s budget proposal that assumes revenues or money from fees that have not been passed into law. The person would be paid if they submit, along with the revenue language, a corresponding cut that would go into effect if the suggested revenue is not enacted by the time the 2014 Appropriations conference begins.
- No money can go towards a contract with a corporation that has been convicted of a felony in the previous 2 years, unless the contract officer says it’s not necessary to protect the government.
- No money can go towards a contract that hasn’t paid all their Federal taxes, unless the agency says it’s not necessary to protect the government.
- Section 411 of the Plant Protection Act prohibits regulated plant “pests”, like weeds, that are somehow considered harmful if allowed to be freely grown in the United States.
- Anyone is allowed to petition to have a plant removed from the regulated list.
- If the Secretary of Agriculture chooses to regulate a plant that was previously unregulated, this bill says the Secretary “shall” “immediately grant temporary permits” which will authorize the movement, introduction, continued cultivation, or commercialization, while the petition is evaluated.
- No money will be allowed to pay for “mitigation” associated with removal of a dam on the White Salmon River in Washington state on October 26, 2011.
- “Mitigation” according to FEMA: “Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. Mitigation is taking action now- before the next disaster- to reduce human and financial consequences later… Without mitigation actions, we jeopardize our safety, financial security, and self-reliance.”
- Prohibits any money from going towards implementing proposed and some existing regulations in the poultry market. Regulations prohibited:
- Terms eliminated
- “Tournament system”: Methods used by poultry dealers to calculate the payment rate to poultry farmers by comparing one one farmer’s performance with another’s.
- “Additional capital investment”: $25,000 or more paid by the poultry or pig farmer beyond his initial investment for expanding facilities.
- “Competitive injury”: When conduct distorts competition in the marketplace
- “Likelihood of competitive injury”: When their’s reason to believe a competitive injury is likely to occur. Examples:
- When a dealer kills competition through large-scale exclusive dealings
- When a poultry/pig dealer raises competitor’s costs
- When a dealer lowers amounts paid to the farmers below market value
- When a dealer impairs a farmer’s ability to compete with other farmers
- When a dealer impairs a farmer’s ability to get their full payment from their sales in the marketplace
- Applicability of Regulations (these people would be exempted)
- Poultry dealers – buy and sell the poultry from farmers
- List of actions that would not be allowed by regulation
- Being deceitful in poultry market contracts
- Retaliatory actions -including intimidation or disadvantage- by a dealer against a farmer in response to anything said or written by that farmer
- A refusal to give farmer the statistical information & data used to determine the compensation paid to him by the dealer
- An action or attempt to limit a farmer’s rights in a contract, including:
- Right to a trial by jury (arbitration ok if voluntarily agreed to)
- Right to damages
- Rights to attorney fees awards
- Right to fair trial location
- Paying a premium or applying a discount on the payment to a pig farmer without documenting the reason and cost justification
- Ending a contract with a poultry/pig farmer for no reason other than an allegation of wrong doing. The violation must be reported to the authorities for it to be grounds for termination.
- A business practice designed to mislead farmers
- A contract that causes a competitive injury
- Eliminated Rules
- Packers and dealers would have to submit a copy of their contracts to the Grain Inspection, Packers, & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) within 10 days.
- Packers, purchasers, and dealers would have to tell GIPSA when their contracts are dead.
- The contracts would be available to the public on the internet. Trade secrets, confidential business information, & personal information would not be made public.
- Confidential business information of packers and dealers would have to be given to GIPSA.
- Tournament System: All farmers growing the same type and kind of poultry would have to paid at the same rate. There would be a minimum required payment.
- A dealer would have to notify the farmer of the cancellation of an order 90 days in advance.
DIVISION B— COMMERCE, JUSTICE, SCIENCE
TITLE I—Department of Commerce
Subject to 1.877% sequester cut
International Trade Administration
- $483 M: Promoting American corporations abroad
NOAA: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- $3 B: Total funding
- $926 M: National Weather Service
- $1.8 B: Weather Satellite Systems, money spent between GOES-R (weather forecasting) and JPSS (replacement of dying satellites) projects
- GOES-R: $10.8 B estimated total cost
- JPSS: $11.9 B estimated total cost
Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery
- $65 M available until September 30, 2014: salmon conservation in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, California, and Alaska.
- States must match 33% of the Federal funds.
- Orders monthly reports to Congress on the reason for all official travel to China by Commerce department employees.
TITLE II—Department of Justice
FBI: Federal Bureau of Investigations
- $8 B: Total funding
ATF: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
- $1 B: Total funding
- No money can go towards paying the salary or expenses of a government employee who works on implementing regulations that limit importation of “curios or relics”
- Original firearms that are over 50 years old
- Museum quality collector’s items
- Bizarre, rare, or historical firearms
- No money will be allowed to implement a law requiring a physical inventory of any firearms manufacturer, dealer, or importer.
Federal Prison System
- $6.8 B: Total funding
Office on Violence Against Women
- $416 M: Total funding
Juvenile Justice Programs
- $280 M: Total funding
- No funds can pay for an abortion, unless the life of the mother is endangered
- If this is declared unconstitutional, this will be null and void
- No funds can be used to force someone to perform or help someone get an abortion
- An individual can refuse to do so, but the the prisons must provide “escort services” to a female inmate to an outside clinic where she can get an abortion.
- No funds can be used to purchase recreational electronics for inmates
- Funds can be used to purchase electronics for inmate training, religious, or education programs.
- No funds can be used to plan, implement, or finish a public-private contract competition for work performed by government prison employees
- Competitions would create detailed comparisons of the costs associated with either a private prison contract or a public prison contract
Section 217: Response to Fast & the Furious
- No money can go towards giving firearms to members of drug cartels unless law enforcement personnel continuously monitor or control the firearm at all times
- $18 B: Total funding
- $4 B: Space exploration
- $4 B: Space operations
- $5 B: Science
National Science Foundation
- $6 B: Total funding
- Provides 20% of Federal research done in colleges & universities
TITLE IV—Related agencies
TITLE V—General provisions
- No money can go towards “publicity or propaganda”
- No more than $500,000 or 10% (whichever is less) can go towards privatizing functions currently performed by the government… unless Congress is notified
- No money can go towards promoting tobacco products or to try to get a foreign country to loosen their regulations on the marketing of tobacco, unless the restrictions are unfairly applied.
- No money can be used to buy information technology unless the FBI, or other appropriate agency, has assessed the risks of cyber-spying or sabotage, especially if parts of the system are produced by China.
- No one is allowed to torture.
- No money can go towards first class air travel, unless no coach fares are available or when a disability demands it
- No money can be used to transfer or release Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or anyone else who has been held since June 24, 2009 in Guantanamo Bay
- No money can be used to prepare a facility in the United States for the detention of Guantanamo Bay detainees. Upgrades can be made to Guantanamo Bay
- No money can go to ACORN
- Funds should go towards energy star light bulbs
- NASA is not allowed to work with China or a Chinese owned company unless specifically authorized to do so in a future law.
- Exception if there is no risk of transfer of national security or economic security data, if the Chinese person has no involvement in civil rights abuses, and if NASA submits a written explanation to Congress.
- No funds can go towards moving the census from the Department of Commerce to the Executive Office of the President
- No funds can be used to pay the salaries of a person who denies or fails to act on a application to import a shotgun if the law was followed and the same model shotgun had not been denied importation prior to January 1, 2011.
- Ban was implemented because military shotguns including semi-automatics were being imported. Ban only allowed shotguns that were suitable for sporting purposes.
- No funds can be used to create or maintain a computer network that doesn’t have pornography blockers installed, unless the network is used for criminal investigations
- No money can go towards a contract with a corporation convicted of a felony in the previous two year, unless the agency says that this isn’t necessary to protect the government.
- No money can go towards a corporation with unpaid Federal taxes, unless the agency says this is unnecessary to protect the government.
- No money can go towards the political science program at the National Science Foundation, except for research projects that promote national security or the economic interests of the United States.
- Previous studies have been on collective bargaining, campaigns, elections, electoral choice, our electoral system, citizen involvement in democracy, lobbying, partisanship, etc…
Next week: Department of Defense, Veterans Administration, Department of Homeland Security, and all other parts of government that will be continued at the 2012 funding levels.