Senate Releases Agriculture Appropriations Bill

For Immediate Release
September 15, 2011

 

Contact:  Leslie K. Paige 202-467-5334 Luke Gelber 202-467-5318

Senate Releases Agriculture Appropriations Bill

Washington, D.C. – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today released its preliminary analysis of the Senate version of the fiscal year (FY) 2012 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. There are 11 earmarks in the bill worth $115.4 million, or 103.2 percent more than the $56.8 million contained in the House version. The bill allocates $137 billion or $4.7 billion above the President’s budget request, and $6.4 billion more than FY 2011 spending levels. The Senate bill appropriates $11.6 billion more than the $125.4 billion in the House bill.

Although the bill contains fewer earmarks than CAGW is accustomed to seeing in Agriculture appropriations bills, the dollar amount remains substantial. “While appropriators deserve credit for finally eliminating earmarks for wasteful projects such as wood utilization research and shrimp aquaculture, any earmark is one too many given the current moratorium and the nation’s fiscal crisis,” stated CAGW President Tom Schatz.

The following are some examples of pork added to the Agriculture bill:

  • $40,000,000 for Boll Weevil eradication. The Boll Weevil is a beetle six millimeters in length that feeds on cotton buds and flowers. Two earmarks in FY 2005 and FY 2006 worth a total of $950,000 were directed to the eradication of another insect, the Diaprepes Root Weevil. Despite the weevils, the U.S. cotton industry is thriving. The cotton industry ranks fifth among U.S. agricultural commodities, and the nation provides 20 percent of worldwide cotton production, third behind China and India. Industry revenue in 2010 was $10.8 billion. Surely cotton farmers can afford to pay for these earmarks themselves.
  • $10,000,000 for high energy cost grants.
  • $8,871,000 for cotton pests. This is the second earmark contained in the Senate Agriculture bill aimed at eliminating insects that affect cotton.
  • $2,900,000 for Delta Regional Authority grants. The Delta Regional Authority has received $11.8 million in earmarks since FY 2003.

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.

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