Oh and there was this: Washington, April 12, 2016 -
The House Appropriations Committee today released the fiscal year 2017 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The proposed legislation funds important agricultural and food programs and services, including food and medical product safety, animal and plant health programs, rural development and farm services, marketplace oversight, and nutrition programs.
Food and Nutrition Programs – The legislation contains discretionary funding, as well as mandatory funding required by law, for food and nutrition programs within the Department of Agriculture. This includes funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and child nutrition programs.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) – The bill provides $6.35 billion in discretionary funding for WIC, which is the same as the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and the President’s request. Because of robust prior-year funding and declining enrollments in the program, WIC has record levels of carryover balances left over from previous years. Therefore, to make the best use of taxpayer dollars, the bill rescinds $100 million in these unobligated balances, which will have no impact on participation in the program.
Child nutrition programs – The bill provides for $23.2 billion in required mandatory funding – which is outside the discretionary funding jurisdiction of the Appropriations Committee – for child nutrition programs. This is $1 billion above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. This funding will provide free or reduced-price school lunches and snacks for 32 million children who qualify for the program. The bill provides more than $628 million for the Summer Food Service Program to ensure low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. In addition, the bill continues funding for a pilot program that provides additional funds through SNAP or WIC electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards to ensure children in underserved communities receive food during the summer months. The bill continues existing provisions that allow schools demonstrating a financial hardship to seek an exemption from the whole grain nutrition standards, and prevents the implementation of further sodium reduction standards until the latest scientific research establishes the reduction is beneficial for children.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – The bill provides for $79.7 billion in required mandatory spending – which is outside the discretionary funding jurisdiction of the Appropriations Committee – for SNAP. This is $1.2 billion below last year’s level and $2.02 billion below the President’s budget request, reflecting declining enrollment. The total includes $3 billion for the SNAP reserve fund, $2 billion below the President’s request, which is used to cover any unexpected participation increases.
Even mandatory spending must be approved by appropriations.
But as always you seem to know everything and nothing.