Analysis of Rural Development in the House Farm Bill

On July 27, 2007, the House of Representatives approved the Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007 - H.R. 2419. This is the House's version of the Farm Bill. Action now moves to the U.S. Senate, starting in the Senate Agricultural Committee.

HR 2419 authorized a total of $456 million annually for Farm Bill authorized rural development programs. However, only $30 million of that authorized spending (about seven percent) is mandatory spending, or spending that must be included in the annual federal budget through the appropriations process.

The rest of the authorized spending is discretionary spending, inclusion of which in the federal budget is at the annual discretion of Congressional appropriators. Because of this, it is conceivable that the $426 million in Farm Bill discretionary spending will never be appropriated. If so, the programs listed in the report with discretionary funding will either terminate or never be implemented.

The vast majority of the rural development title in HR 2419 reauthorizes existing programs and sets annual authorized appropriation levels.

For a list of Rural Development programs included in HR 2419 and authorized annual spending levels, download a pdf of the Rural Brief below.