The Senate Appropriations Committee reported legislation that would provide the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) $20.785 billion for discretionary programs for fiscal year (FY) 2013, an increase over the current fiscal year's 19.565 billion. Discretionary USDA programs include research and rural development.

(For more, see: Agriculture budget approved by Senate committee)

The committee approved funding for P.L 480 Title II (food aid) at $1.466 billion, the same as FY 2012.  For the Market Access and Foreign Market Development Programs, the committee agreed to funding at the authorized levels of $200 million and $34.5 million, respectively, the same as FY 2012. The National Institute on Food and Agriculture (NIFA) research would receive $1.239 billion and Agricultural Research Service $1.101 billion. The committee allocated $828 million for the Natural Resources Conservation Service's conservation operations.  For the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, appropriators directed $7.041 billion, which would enable full program participation.

The Senate will debate the bill but has not scheduled a date.  In the House, the agriculture appropriations subcommittee has not announced a date to mark up its FY 2013 spending bill for USDA and FDA programs.  The House Appropriations Committee has set discretionary FY 2013 spending for USDA and FDA at $19.405 billion, which is less than the FY 2012 level.