Cornerstone Report from Washington

Vol. 9, No. 1 – Feb. 7, 2011


Update on FY 2011 Appropriations Process


The 112th Congress convened in early January and has spent much of the last month working on organizational issues. Now, however, we are beginning to get a better idea about how the FY 2011 appropriations process may finally come to fruition. We can report the following:

Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Rosters


House Republicans (Majority)           House Democrats (Minority)            

Jack Kingston (GA), Chairman              Sam Farr, (CA Ranking Member)

Tom Latham (IA)                                   Rosa DeLauro (CT)

Jo Ann Emerson (MO)                           Sanford Bishop (GA)

Robert Aderholt (AL)                             Marcy Kaptur (OH)

Cynthia Lummis (WY)                           Norm Dicks (WA, Ex Officio)

Alan Nunnelee (MS)

Tom Graves (GA)

Hal Rogers (KY, Ex Officio)

Senate Democrats (Majority)            Senate Republicans (Minority)         

Herb Kohl (WI, Chairman)                    Roy Blunt (MO, Ranking)

Tom Harkin (IA)                                    Thad Cochran (MS)

Dianne Feinstein (CA)                          Mitch McConnell (KY)

Tim Johnson (SD)                                  Susan Collins (ME)

Ben Nelson (NE)                                   Jerry Moran (KS)

Mark Pryor (AR)                                    John Hoeven (ND)

Sherrod Brown (OH)


House Announces Revised Budget Ceiling and Subcommittee Allocations

In order to begin finalizing the appropriations bills for FY 2011, the House Budget Committee set an overall discretionary spending limit ($1.055 trillion) and the House Appropriations Committee Chair has decided how that amount is to be divvied-up among the 12 subcommittees. The Agriculture Subcommittee’s allocation is cut to $20.065 billion, which is $3.239 billion (14%) below the Subcommittee’s FY 2010 appropriation.


Impact Statements Received

The Budget and Advocacy Committee has been spearheading an effort to protect funding for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The BAC asked all of the land-grant universities to prepare impact statements detailing how a rollback in NIFA funding and elimination of congressionally-direct project funding (earmarks) would harm each university. As of today, all but one of these impact statements have been received and uploaded to the BAC’s web site:


We are in the process of compiling national statistics from these reports. Preliminary indications are that nearly $300 million in NIFA funding is at risk, as much as $175 million in state and local matching funds could also be at risk, and some 2,500 jobs might be lost. (When all institutions have reported, we will provide you with a final compilation/national assessment.)

Timeline for Completion of the FY 2011 Process

The House Appropriations Committee plans to release its new long-term Continuing Resolution sometime within the next few days and we will know at that time which NIFA programs are proposed to be cut and the magnitude of those reductions. Once the new CR has been made public it will be debated on the House floor under an “open rule” (meaning that it will be open to amendment) and we expect that debate to occur during the week of February 14.
Since December, the BAC, Cornerstone, and universities with representatives on the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee have been communicating regularly and forcefully with subcommittee members and staff and the leadership of the full House Appropriations Committee. We will step up this advocacy in the days ahead as we continue to vigorously oppose efforts to reduce NIFA funding. As soon as the new House proposal has been made public, we will be back in touch with you to let you know precisely how you can be helpful.

The Cornerstone Team