Funding Plant and Animal Health Emergencies: Transfers from the Commodity Credit Corporation [Updated October 19, 2005] [open pdf - 86KB]
From the Summary: "The Secretary of Agriculture has the authority to transfer funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for emergency control programs. The Secretary's use of this authority has increased in recent years, and has become an issue within government concerning the method for funding plant and animal health programs. The authority to transfer money for plant and animal health emergencies is found both in annual appropriations acts and in authorizing statutes. Discretion rests with the Secretary of Agriculture, who is subject to limited review when making transfers. […] In recent years, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has been concerned over the frequent use of CCC transfers for the eradication of plant and animal pests and diseases, which OMB has said should be funded through regular appropriations after the initial outbreak. However, congressional appropriations committees have consistently reiterated that the Secretary should use the authority to transfer CCC funds, and USDA has continued its past practice of using the funds. Analysis of CCC transfers for plant and animal health emergencies from FY1998 to FY2005 leads to several observations. First, the number and value of CCC transfers rose substantially from FY1998 to FY2003. Second, several eradication programs were short-term and funded only by CCC transfers, while other programs consistently have received CCC transfers in addition to appropriations. Finally, some programs receive large, initial CCC transfers followed by progressively smaller transfers as appropriations gradually take their place."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32504
National Agricultural Law Center http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/crs/