Programs Without a Budget Baseline at the End of the 2008 Farm Bill [April 11, 2014]   [open pdf - 370KB]

"The 2008 farm bill (the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, P.L. 110-246 provided mandatory funding for many programs. Some of these programs had budget baseline beyond the end of the farm bill in FY2012, while others did not. Those with continuing baseline essentially had built-in future funding if policy makers decided that the programs should continue. However, 37 programs that received mandatory funds during the 2008 farm bill were not assumed to continue from a budgetary perspective because they did not have a budgetary baseline beyond FY2012. Notable programs among this group included certain agricultural disaster assistance programs, specialty crop research, organic research and certification, beginning and socially disadvantaged farmer programs, rural development, bioenergy, farmers market promotion programs, and some conservation programs. If policy makers wanted to continue these programs in the 2014 farm bill, they needed to pay for the programs with budgetary offsets. Depending on the approach used to estimate the cost to extend the 37 programs for five years, an estimated $9 billion to $14 billion of offsets from other sources was needed. This was nearly 3% of the five-year CBO [Congressional Budget Office] baseline used to write the 2014 farm bill (FY2014-FY2018), or 14% of the five-year baseline if the nutrition title is excluded. Finding this level of offsets sometimes was difficult in a tight budget environment, especially when many observers believed that some of the farm bill baseline would be used for deficit reduction. The enacted 2014 farm bill provides 29 of these 37 programs with new mandatory funding that totals $6.2 billion over the five-year period FY2014-FY2018."

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CRS Report for Congress, R41433
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