CBO Scores Senate-Passed Farm Bill as Saving $23.1 Billion Over 10 Years

July 6, 2012 07:13 AM
 

Via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


Amendments to bill on Senate floor pared savings from committee-passed version.

The Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012 (S 3240) as approved by the Senate would spend $970 billion over 10 years and produce savings of $23.1 billion compared to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline, CBO said today.

"CBO estimates that enacting S. 3240 would bring total direct spending for those USDA programs to $970 billion over the 2013-2022 period-$23.1 billion less than we project would be spent if those programs were continued as under current law," CBO said. "For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 3240 will be enacted around the end of fiscal year 2012."

CBO scored the bill as reported out of the Senate Ag Committee as saving $23.6 billion over 10 years. "The Senate passed S 3240 on June 21, 2012, with several amendments," CBO noted, saying it now estimates "those amendments would increase direct spending by $450 million over 10 years, compared with the version of the legislation as introduced."

Among changes to direct spending via amendments approved on the Senate floor, crop insurance was one of those affected. CBO said that the provision to provide for an organic election for crop insurance would add $8 million in outlays over 10 years while requiring conservation compliance for crop insurance would save $56 million over that period.

There is no mention of savings associated with the amendment by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that would put a cap of $75,000 on marketing loan benefits.

As for discretionary spending in the bill, CBO said, "CBO estimates that discretionary spending under the act would total $29 billion over the 2013-2017 period, or $590 million more than for S 3240 as introduced, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. Those additional authorizations of appropriations include:

  • $100 million a year to combat bark beetles on forest land;
  • $20 million a year to promote maple syrup production;
  • $25 million a year to research poultry feed; and
  • $10 million to purchase pulse (certain grain legume) crops for the School Lunch Program.

 

As for savings by farm bill titles, following are the 10-year levels compared to the CBO baseline for the FY 2013-2022 period:

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NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.

 

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